Aster cordifolius - blue wood aster

There are lots of wild asters in North America. Blue wood aster is common on wooded East-coast slopes and tolerates shade better than most of its relatives. Blue wood asters have been planted at Mustila where they thrive in the shade of the Rock (Sugar) Maples (Acer saccharum) south of the Festival Area. The large, heart-shaped leaves effectively cover the ground, and in late summer blue wood aster puts out tall stems with big blue florets.

Carpinus caroliniana - American hornbeam

American hornbeam occurs naturally over a large area in eastern North America. It thrives in shade and often grows in the forest under a canopy of larger species, on moist lake shores and river banks. It grows as a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree with an attractive crown. The dark grey, smooth and shiny bark emphasises the ridges of the trunk, which look like tensed muscles under the bark.

Sambucus canadensis (Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis) - American elder

American elder closely resembles the European species, common elder (S. nigra), and is sometimes considered its subspecies. It is a fast-growing, luxuriant, multi-stemmed shrub producing root suckers, unlike the common elder. Leaves are large, with 5-9 leaflets, giving the shrub an exotic look. American elder flowers in August, after the common elder, with white, scented corymbs. The blue-black berries seldom have time to ripen in Finland. There is conflicting information about their edibility.

Rhus typhina - stag’s horn sumach

Stag’s horn sumach is native to the north-eastern parts of North America. It is a suckering tree or shrub which thrives in full sun, on sandy slopes or along roadsides.

The attractive leaves are composed of multiple leaflets, which in autumn take on all possible shades of yellow, orange, red and violet. In summer it bears small green flowers in erect cones, 20cms, which in the females change in autumn to handsome glowing red spikes of berries coated in red hairs, which remain on the tree after the leaves fall.