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Photo by Ayinde Listhrop

Featured plant: Jindai tatarian aster

By Erika Harvey | October 2, 2018

Tatarian aster, or Aster tataricus ‘Jindai,’ is just one of the many varieties of aster you’ll find in bloom at the High Line this season.

The plants’ distinctive lavender blooms are a sure sign that autumn has arrived at the park. The species Aster tataricus is one of the 50 fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese herbology, where its root has been used historically as an expectorant for respiratory infections. More recently, it has also shown to have strong antimicrobial properties, including inhibiting growth of staph bacteria and E. coli.

This particular cultivar of Aster tataricus was discovered in the Jindai Botanical Garden in Tokyo, which lends the Jindai to its scientific name. Asters occupy a special place in Japanese culture, where they are associated with memory and remembrance. The common Japanese name of shion can be loosely translated as “I won’t forget you.”

At the High Line, our asters, including tatarian aster, are a favorite of fall pollinators. Buzzing around the small purple-petalled blooms you’ll find Monarch butterflies and several varieties of bees.

On the High Line between 13th and 14th Streets.

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 500 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today. Every week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Our horticultural team counts on members and friends like you to help keep the High Line beautiful and thriving. Join our community of supporters who play an essential role in the High Line’s most important gardening projects.

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TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.