Aster Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Cultural Significance

In the language of flowers, Asters symbolize love, wisdom, patience, faith, elegance, and beauty. In Greek mythology, asters were introduced when the goddess Astria looked up to the sky and could not see any stars. Interestingly, each shade of Aster is also thought to carry its own deep symbolism, from nobility to friendship and even purity. Join me as I explore the aster flower’s rich symbolic meaning and cultural significance from ancient to modern times.

A cluster of pink aster flowers in bloom

Etymological Meaning

The flower’s name comes from the Greek word ἀστήρ (astḗr), which translates to Aster in English. Aster means star-like and is fitting since the multi-colored aster flower blooms resemble stars. 

Color Symbolism

A cluster of purple aster flowers in bloom

Just as it is with many other flower species, the aster flower carries different symbolism and meanings. When examining the aster flower, be aware that it is also associated with patience, daintiness, elegance, love of variety, and afterthought.

Each variety of color also is seen with its own symbolism and meanings. 

  • Purple asters are considered a royal color and symbolize wisdom, beauty, and nobility. They are the most popular color of this flowering plant. 
  • The white aster boasts spirituality, innocence, purity, and faith, as many white flowers do in modern culture. 
  • Red aster flowers represent eternal devotion and deep passion. 
  • Pink asters are a symbol of love, kindness, and sensitivity. 
  • A blue aster flower represents faith, stability, and depth. 

Aster Flowers in Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks believed that the aster flower was extremely beneficial to have. They were considered to scare away snakes and evil spirits around the house. 

When exploring Greek mythology, asters were introduced when the goddess Astria looked up to the sky and could not see any stars. She was so sad that she started to weep, and her tears fell to the ground. From these tears, the star-shaped flowers that we know as asters grew. 

Another story version tells of the goddess Astria asking to be turned into a star when Jupiter, the god of thunder, sent a flood to the earth. After this happened, she became so sad that she cried, and her tears fell to the ground, sprouting aster flowers in its place. 

Some descriptions state that Astria, in fact, did become a star but was filled with sadness and cried tears to Earth. These tears grew into asters across the world. 

One alternative story depicts Virgo scattering stardust across the earth. As it fell, asters grew, covering the world. 

Ancient Roman Culture 

In ancient Roman culture, burning aster leaves was common practice because people believed doing so would drive away evil spirits and serpents that may be roaming about. They were considered sacred flowers of the Greek and Roman gods. Romans and Greeks would decorate their altars with these popular flowers. 

Native American Culture

Within Native American culture, asters came about because of two girls who got lost in the woods. They were found by an elderly herb lady who could foresee their futures and chose to turn them into flowers to save their lives. One of the girls who wore a blue dress was the aster flower. 

Traditional Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, asters, which are native to the country, represent faithfulness and devotion. 

The Victorian Language of Flowers 

Many communities believe that the aster flower possesses magical powers. Individuals often used them in many potions with a variety of uses. Victorians, during the famous era of floriography, also used flowers as a means to send hidden messages. Asters in a bouquet during those times meant spontaneity and variety. 

Aster Flowers and Astrology

For Capricorns, the Zodiac flower is the aster, given its symbolism of grace and wisdom. Capricorns are goal-driven, ambitious people who apply wisdom and logic to their decision-making process.

The connection between aster flowers and wisdom stems from Greek mythology. The myth says that when the Greek goddess Astraea cried, asters grew where her tears landed on the earth. This goddess represents justice and precision, two values that Capricorns hold dear.

World War II

During World War II, asters were part of a ceremonial act of placing on French soldier’s tombs. This symbolized that they wished things would have turned out differently for the soldier. 

Astera in Art and Literature

Asters have been depicted in many works of art for centuries, including books and paintings. Claude Monet painted a bountiful bouquet of asters back in 1880, and Vincent van Gogh used Chinese asters in several of his artwork creations. 

Birth Month Flowers

The aster is the official birth month flower for September. It is the perfect bouquet to bestow on someone born during this month. They carry a symbol of wishes and good luck for the receiver. 

20th Wedding Anniversary

These flowering plants are a popular choice for a couple who are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary flower. Symbolizing love, faith, and wisdom, this is the ideal blossom to gift to those committed to each other for a lifetime. 

Aster Tattoos in Modern Culture

Because of its deep-rooted meaning from the Greek culture, the aster flower can be prevalent in many tattoos, symbolizing love. In modern culture, it is the birth flower of September and can represent when the individual was born. 

In Conclusion 

Aster flowers are popular flowers with a wide array of symbolism, meaning and beauty. Resembling stars, asters can bring a cheerful sentiment when they are given as gifts for numerous occasions. Perfect for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, or other personal events, asters can provide a splash of color in a fall bouquet, making them the perfect addition. An outdoor gardening space will host these colorful blossoms late in the growing season, even after other flowering plants have finished blooming.

Further Reading: Discover 100 amazing types of purple flowers.

Editorial Director | | Full Bio

Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.

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