Birth Flower of the Month

September 1. First day of September. First day of Spring. Warmer weather and lots more flowers. Along with the Forget Me Knot, the official birth flower of September is the Aster. January gets the Carnation, February gets the Iris and June gets the Rose but September gets the Aster. Which is fine by me because I am a September baby and I like Asters. They are hardy and a colourful bunch lasts for a v v v long time. So I ‘ve wrapped up a bunch of Asters for my sister in law who is also a September baby and whose spring time birthday it is today.

The official birthflower designations are Northern Hemisphere driven, but that’s fine by me too because I  love flowers at any time and the Aster is most versatile. It’s also the official flower for a 20th wedding anniversary – just keep that one up your sleeve.

The Aster is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae which now encompasses around 180 species. The Aster looks like a daisy but is actually a relative of the sunflower. It goes by a number of names such as the September flower as well as Michaelmas Daisy, starwort and frost flower. It comes in your pinks, your reds, your whites, your lilacs and your mauves.

According to whatsmybirthflower,  Asters have a heritage that dates back to Ancient Greece. The site tells of the Greek legend of Astraea, the goddess of innocence, who went to live in the heavens as the constellation Virgo. When Zeus created a flood to cleanse the planet of corruptness, only two humans survived on Mt. Parnassus which the flood did not reach. Astraea created starlight to guide the pair and as she wept from pity she had for them, her tears landed on earth. From those locations asters grew.

There are all sorts of other Aster related stories to tell. The ancient Greeks believed that Asters would repel snakes and serve as an antidote to their venom. Some say the scent of burning Aster leaves keeps evil serpents at bay. Others point to the Aster’s ability to predict a change in weather because when the petals close, it is a signal of oncoming rain. Still another myth tells of the Aster being a common ingredient in love potions which is why it is sometimes referred to as the ‘herb of Venus.’

For me though, there’s one Aster tradition I like more above all and that’s the hidden message “Take Care Of Yourself For Me”that is sent with a gift of every aster. That’s the message being sent with these Happy Birthday on 1 September Asters.

 

 

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