A new season has just begun and we are looking forward to all of the changes that the fall will bring to High Park but we are also still enjoying what the summer season has offered us, like the late summer wildflowers. Growing in the sandy soils of High Park’s Black Oak Savannah is a gentle little wildflower known as Sky Blue Aster.
From late August all the way into October, Sky Blue Aster will have its bright yellow center and different shades of purple and blue florets on display. The colours of Sky Blue Aster combine so beautifully with the colours of Goldenrod, which is also blooming in the Black Oak Savannah this time of year. Together, they create a fabulous late-summer/early fall show!
As a late-season bloomer, Sky Blue Asters, and other species of asters, provide one of the last opportunities for foraging of both pollen and nectar before the cold season. Because of this, aster pollen is an incredibly important late-season food source for a diversity of bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects. This includes the next generation of bumblebee queens, who will be foraging before they enter winter dormancy.
Keep an eye out for Sky Blue Aster on your next visit to High Park!