Asteraceae Family – From the Greek, “Aster” in reference to the shape of the flower and its bracts. At least 200 species are found across North America with dozens in the Tallgrass prairie region alone.
Found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie region in a dizzying array of habitats from marshes to woodlands. Aster colonies often cover large areas. Often quite striking in color, the asters bloom from July through the first hard frost.
Several tribes used the smoke from burning aster plants to assist in reviving persons who had fainted. Some other Native American tribes brewed a tea from aster plants to relieve headaches. In our area, the Meskwaki would make a smudge from Aster laeteriflorus to treat insanity.