The writer just brought into a house a handful of purple asters for his wife.
Aster means "star" in Latin and in Greek.
We must go to the imagination of the ancient Greeks for many of the legends concerning the aster. The ancient Greek imagination was beyond compare.
To honor various gods aster wreathes were placed on altars of many of the Greek gods. The aster was considered sacred.
It was once believed that the scent of burning leaves of asters would cause snakes to leave. As it is so often said: "Don't try this at home."
Virgo scattered stardust over the surface of the earth, and where the stardust fell asters began to spring up.
Asterea, a Greek goddess, looked down at the earth and saw no stars. This caused her to weep and where the tears fell to earth asters eventually began to grow.
If these legends sound tame Google the Minotaur of Crete for a terrifying story. Briefly the Minotaur, part huge man with the head of a fierce bull with massive horns, terrorized Athens. To placate the Minotaur King Aegeus of Athens promised that if the Minotaur would live in the middle of a maze, the Cretean Labyrinth built by the king of Crete, he would send seven young men and seven young maidens to be eaten by the Minotaur. Yum! He did not discriminate--human flesh is human flesh.
One year the brave son of King Aegeus volunteered to be one of the young men with the plan to kill the cruel and savage Minotaur and to rid the Levant of this horror. In the process he fell in love with one of the young maidens who was to be sacrificed to the Minotaur. How convenient to the story. Because of his love for the young maiden he forgot to signal his father that he had killed the Minotaur. Love does funny things to men. He saw his father, who had been standing by in his ship, sailing back to Athens without him. Seeing his father sailing away he wept and where his tears fell, guess what, asters began to grow up. They always do.
An old Cherokee legend tells of two warring tribes fighting over a choice hunting ground. As they fought the fighting moved into a small village where all villagers were killed except for two young girls who ran and hid in the woods.
The girls sought out the old Herb Woman in the valley on the other side of the high green mountains. The Herb Woman gathered herbs by day and compounded them into magic potions at night. It is always good to be a friend of the local Herb Woman.
Fearing the two tribes would search out the girls and kill them the Herb Woman used one potion to change one of the girls into a lavender blue aster. This was the color of the fringe of her doe skin regalia. The other girl had a doe skin regalia with a fringe of a yellowish color and she became yellow goldenrod. The girls were safe from the warriors and survive to this day.
Remember, goldenrod does not cause allergies. That is the pleasure and joy of the ragweed that throws out pollen at the same time. The pollen of the goldenrod is too heavy and waxy to be carried by the wind. However, goldenrod is often falsely accused.