The English called asters both "asters" and "starworts". Aster, Latin for "star," referred to the flower's star-like shape, while wort meant "root," which then applied to plants with healing properties. There are over 600 species of aster, the most popular being the Monte Casino.
Asters are the birth flower for September, and the herb of the goddess Venus. Ancient people believed that the odour of the leaves of the aster, when burnt, drove away serpents. Asters were laid on the graves of French soldiers to symbolize afterthought and the wish that things had turned out differently. One myth tells that asters were created from stardust when Virgo looked down from the heavens and wept. The poet Virgil holds that the altars of the gods were often adorned with asters.
Asters convey an afterthought or variety, except in China, where they signify fidelity.