China Aster Symbolism: Blooms of Love and Wisdom

China aster flowers, known scientifically as Callistephus chinensis, enchant gardens globally. Celebrated for their radiant blooms and vibrant yellow core, they’re popular both decoratively and in floral arrangements. With a name derived from the Greek term for “star,” these luminous blossoms echo sentiments of love, wisdom, and faith. Dive with us into the rich tapestry of China Aster’s history, meanings, and its global cultural resonance.

Symbolic China Aster Flowers

China Aster Flower Meaning & Symbolism – The Essentials

China aster flowers’ name comes from the Greek word for “star.” In Greek mythology, these star-shaped blooms were placed on the altars of the gods, making them a symbol of love, wisdom, and faith. To the Victorians, a gift of China asters stood for love and daintiness in the language of flowers.

Etymological Meaning

China aster flowers get their name from their country of origin, China, and the Greek word for “star,” due to their star-shaped blooms. The genus name Callistephus comes from the Greek word kalli, which means “beautiful,” and stephos, which means “crown.”

China Aster Flower Meaning & Symbolism

China Aster Flower Meaning & Symbolism

To the Victorians, a gift of Chinese asters symbolized love and daintiness. They may also symbolize patience and charm. Along with their message of devotion and love, in the language of flowers, a gift of an aster might mean “Take care of yourself for me.”

C. chinensis flowers are reddish-purple and symbolize love, faith, and wisdom. Varieties bloom in a wide range of colors, and some have specific meanings, such as:

  • Purple for wisdom and royalty
  • White for purity and innocence
  • Red for eternal devotion
  • Pink for love and sensitivity

The Cultural Significance of China Aster Flowers

The Cultural Significance of China Aster Flowers

China aster flowers have a rich association with myth and folklore. To the ancient Greeks, the flowers represented the god Jupiter. Legend has it that Jupiter caused a huge flood that killed many warriors. The goddess Astraea was so upset that she turned into a star. Her tears fell to earth, and where they landed, China asters grew.

Other stories tell of Virgo scattering stars across the sky. Stardust fell to earth, causing asters to grow. Yet another myth associates asters with Venus, the goddess of love.

In Germany and England, many believed that asters were magical. The French lay bouquets of asters on the graves of fallen soldiers; here, the aster is known as the “Eye of Christ.”

In North America, the Cherokee tribe believes the flowers stand for the blue fringed dresses worn by sisters who fled from a battle. Here, they’re also the official flower of 20th anniversaries and of September birthdays.

China asters are represented in art and literature. Henri Rousseau (`Le Douanier’) painted asters in his 1909 work “Bouquet of Flowers.” The poet Robert Frost uses asters as a symbol of hope in his poem “A Late Walk.”

Suitable Gifting Occasions for China Aster Flowers

Suitable Gifting Occasions for China Aster Flowers

Given these flowers’ array of colors, it’s no surprise that they can be used for various occasions and events. Of course, they’re perfect for anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and date nights, thanks to their association with love and devotion.

They’re also perfect for birthdays and are especially associated with September birthdays. Anytime you want to let someone know you care, a gift of asters does the trick.

China Aster Flower FAQs: 

Do China asters come back every year?

China asters are annuals and do not come back every year. You will need to sow seeds, or plant starts every season.

Are China asters hard to grow?

China asters are easy to grow under the right conditions. Rich, moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade are ideal growing conditions.

Are China asters annuals or perennials?

China asters are cold-weather annuals.

What colors do China asters come in?

China asters bloom in a range of colors. At the same time, the species flowers in reddish-purple varieties come in white, gold, yellow, purple, red, orange, and burgundy.

Is China aster considered invasive?

Though not a North American native, C. chinensis is not considered an invasive species.


China asters bring a range of colors, heights, and blooms to the summer garden. Prized as ornamental plants and for their cut flowers, these lovely annuals also have a rich history. From Greek myth to Native American folklore, C. chinensis offers both rich symbolism and cultural meaning. The plants also have medicinal uses and have played a role in Chinese medicine and Native American healing traditions. In the language of flowers, the symbolism of a gift of China asters may represent love, devotion, purity, and wisdom. They’re a perfect way to let someone know you care.

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