fbpx New York aster | The Morton Arboretum

New York aster

Cultivar Henry III has double flowers.

New York aster, also known as Michaelmas daisy, is a robust, upright native perennial with gray-green leaves and dense crown of fall-blooming, purple daisy-like flowers. A great addition to the late season perennial garden when combined with goldenrod and other native grasses.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.


Botanical name:

Symphyotrichum novi-belgii (syn. Aster novi-belgii)

All common names:

New York aster, Michaelmas daisy

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Perennial

Native Locale:

  • Chicago area,
  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Patio/sidewalk

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
  • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Wet sites,
  • Occasional flooding,
  • Road salt

Seasons of Interest:

  • late summer,
  • early fall,
  • mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Pink,
  • Purple

Shape or Form:

  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:


Upright, 3 to 5 feet high and wide, with shorter cultivars available.

Plant Care

Full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil.
Tall forms can be pinched back before July to promote compact habit.
Divide older plants in spring by lifting plants any replanting the vigorous side growth, discarding older center stems.
Taller plants may need staking.
Allow good air circulation between plants for to avoid fungal diseases.

Disease, pests, and problems

Powdery mildew, rust, lacebug
Wet soil will lead to root rot.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Deer, rabbit

Native geographic location and habitat

Throughout north America in moist, wet meadows, wood edges and coastal habitat.
C-Value: 4

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Butterflies, bees and other pollinators

Leaf description

Alternate, simple, lancolate to broadly linear, 3 to 5 inches long, sessile or clasping to thin stem.
Upper leaf surface stiff with pubescence underside, margins are slightly toothed.

Flower description

Large panicles of showy, daisy-like, violet-blue flowers with a central ring of yellow florets.
Flowers bloom in late summer into fall.  Cultivars vary in color

Fruit description

Seed with tuft of hairs to aid in wind dispersal.

Cultivars and their differences 

Blue Lagoon New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Blue Lagoon'): 20 to 24 inches and wide; low bushy habit; clear blue daisy-like flowers

Coombe Violet New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Coombe Violet'): Upright, bushy, 3 to 4 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide; violet-purple flowers with gray-green leaves

Henry III New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Henry III'):  Flowers are double.

Peter Harrison New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii  'Peter Harrison'):  low bushy, 1 to 11/2 feet high and wide; pink flowers

Professor Anton Kippenberg New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Professor Anton Kippenberg'): compact habit, 1 to 2 feet high; semi-double, lavender-blue flowers

Raspberry Swirl New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Raspberry Swirl'): 18 to 24 inches high and wide; magenta-red flowers

Royal Ruby New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Royal Ruby'): 20 to 30 inches high; semi-double red flowers

Location of Symphyotrichum novi-belgii (syn. Aster novi-belgii) (New York aster) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.