New England aster is a native, upright perennial with purple or pinkish daisy-like flowers that bloom in late summer and autumn. Excellent in combination with other late season ornamental grasses, goldenrod and other asters. This plant is known for attracting butterflies.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Mixed border,
- Large plant (more than 24 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Most 3 to 6 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide
Cultivars can be shorter or taller.
Full sun in moist, rich, well-drained soils.
Pinch stems early in season to encourage the plant to be bushy and shorter.
Tall plants may need staking
Good air circulation reduces foliar problems
Disease, pests and problems
Minor foliage diseases such as powdery mildew and rust.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Drought tolerant, deer, rabbit, salt,temporary wet soils.
Native geographic location and habitat
Common in prairies, moist meadows, thickets and stream banks.
Attracts birds & butterflies
Caterpillar and larva host to the pearl crescent and silvery checkerspot butterflies.
Nectar source for various butterflies.
Simple, alternate leaves, clasping stems; stiff, lance-shaped, up to 4 inches long
Purple or pink daisy-like flowers; each flower about 1 1/2 inches across with numerous ray flowers and yellow centers.
Can be used as cut flowers but flowers close up at night.
Not ornamentally important
Andenken an Alma Potschke New England Aster (Symphytrichum novae-angliae 'Alma Potschke'): 3 to 4 feet high and 2-3 feet wide; Magenta pink ; light green leaves
Barr's Pink New England Aster (Symphytrichum novae-angliae 'Barr's Pink'): 3 to 4 feet high ; large (2 1/2 inch diameter) lilac-pink flowers with gold center; early to mid-fall
Harrinton's Pink New England Aster (Symphytrichum novae-angliae 'Harrington's Pink'): 4 to 6 feet high and 2 feet wide; clear pink flowers in late summer
Purple Dome New England Aster (Symphytrichum novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'): 18 to 24 inches high and wide; deep purple, semi-double flowers with yellow center
September Ruby New England Aster (Symphytrichum novae-angliae 'September Ruby' (syn. 'Septemberrubin'): 3 to 4 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide; ruby-rose flowers with yellow center
Related Species and their differences
Aromatic Aster (Symphytotricum oblongifolium (syn. Aster oblongifolius): bushy compact, low-growing perennial with hair stems; stiff, toothless, oblong, blue-green leaves up to 2 inches long; numerous, smal violet-blue flowers with yellow centers.
October Skies Aromatic Aster (Symphytotricum oblongifolium 'October Skies'): 12 to 18 inches high and wide; small daisy-like blue-purple flowers with yellow centers; more bushy than species
Raydon's Favorite Aromatic Aster (Symphytotricum oblongifolium 'Raydon's Favorite'): 2 to 3 feet high and 18 inches wide; masses of lavender-blue flowers