Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 6 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: New England aster
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Deep pink-purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Clay Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers moist, rich soils. Good air circulation helps reduce incidence of foliar diseases. Pinching back stems several times before mid-July will help control plant height, promote bushiness and perhaps obviate the need for staking. Pinching back will also delay flowering.

Easily grown from seed and may self-seed in the garden in optimum growing conditions. Plants may be cut to the ground after flowering to prevent any unwanted self-seeding and/or if foliage has become unsightly.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, commonly called New England aster, is a Missouri native perennial which occurs in moist prairies, meadows, thickets, low valleys and stream banks (Steyermark) throughout the State. It is a stout, leafy plant typically growing 3-6' tall with a robust, upright habit. Features a profuse bloom of daisy-like asters (to 1.5" diameter) with purple rays and yellow centers from late summer to early fall. Rough, hairy, lance-shaped leaves (to 4" long) clasp stiff, hairy stems. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Genus name comes from the Greek symph meaning coming together and trich meaning hair in possible reference to the flower anthers.

Specific epithet means of New England, USA.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to powdery mildew. Aster wilt can also be an occasional problem, particularly if plants are grown in poorly-drained clay soils. Taller plants may require staking or other support.

Garden Uses

Provides color and contrast to the fall perennial border front. Mass or plant in groups. Also effective naturalized in drifts in meadows or in native or wildflower gardens.