Nature Loves Purple and Yellow Together!

purple aster and yellow goldenrod flowers

Nature Loves Purple and Yellow Together!

Natural settings usually include a wide variety of plants and animals that work together to create the best environment. The climate and location dictate what will survive. Since temperatures, sunshine, and moisture levels vary across the world, there is a wide range of plant life: tall and short plants, sun-loving plants and those that hide in the shade, plants that reach deep into the dry soil for moisture and plants that thrive on or in the water. With that in mind, what do you see when you imagine a field of flowers with bees and butterflies? Most likely, you picture bright colors, not just form and location. So, how does color factor into the equation of a healthy habitat?

Aster and Goldenrod

Robin Wall Kimmerer states it best in her book Braiding Sweetgrass:
“If a fountain could jet bouquets of chrome yellow in dazzling arches of chrysanthemum fireworks, that would be Canada goldenrod. Each three- foot stem is a geyser of tiny gold daisies, ladylike in miniature, exuberant en masse. Where the soil is damp enough, they stand side by side with their perfect counterpart, New England asters. Not the pale domesticates of the perennial border, the weak sauce of lavender or sky blue, but full- on royal purple that would make a violet shrink. The daisy-like fringe of purple petals surrounds a disc as bright as the sun at high noon, a golden- orange pool, just a tantalizing shade darker than the surrounding goldenrod. Alone, each is a botanical superlative. Together, the visual effect is stunning. Purple and gold, the heraldic colors of the king and queen of the meadow, a regal procession in complementary colors. I just wanted to know why.”

In her book, the author remembers a question she had since childhood: Why are aster and goldenrod so beautiful together? Some in the scientific community thought that was just a question for art. Purple and yellow – that’s just color. What scientific reason would anyone care about color?

Is it Science or Art? Or both?

In the big circle of life, everything needs food, and everything is food. Keystone species are especially vital to the health of each ecosystem. Bees are one category of these important species. As they love purple and yellow together, the question of color is very significant!  This combination of color is more effective together than alone. Working alongside each other, the aster and goldenrod have a better chance at pollination by attracting more bees. Scientifically, these complimentary colors are a vivid contrast, so bees are drawn to the flowers. Artistically, it is just beautiful!

What Purple and Yellow Blooms Should I Plant?

purple aster with yellow goldenrod with butterfly
A red admiral butterfly feeding on wild blooming purple aster in a field of goldenrod.

If you are not lucky enough to be in an area where Canada goldenrod and New England Aster are just growing in the fields, you can still grow other native plants that bloom together in a show of purple and yellow. Do a little research on what grows in your area and find the bloom time. Combining a variety of plants will be pleasing to your eye and to the bees and butterflies.  We carry Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) and Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) that have yellow blooms.  A few of our options with purple blooms are New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), Purpletop Vervain (Verbena bonariensis), Giant Ironweed (Vernonia gigantea), and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

If you have time to research, each product description states bloom time, color, and growing range. Sounds like a fun project!  If you don’t have time, contact us with your information and we can help. Plan now for beautiful and colorful blooms!