Last week, Kaspar Wittlinger (one of the High Line's gardeners, hailing all the way from Muenster, Germany – like the cheese!) showed me an interesting phenomenon happening right now: the lighting fixtures on the High Line are confusing the aromatic aster.
You'll notice in the picture above that the bright, purple blooms cover only part of the plant. That's because aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius) is a variety of wildflower that depends on short days and low light, and the lighting fixture installed on the rail has caused the plant to receive a seasonally abnormal amount of light. On the rail side of the plant, it's still June!
[More photos after the jump.]
In other news, the aromatic aster untouched by the lighting fixtures has really taken off – you can see the abundance of bold, daisy-like blooms right now in the Gansevoort Woodland and the Chelsea Grasslands.