Boltonia asteroides

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: false aster 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Eastern United States
Zone: 3 to 10
Height: 5.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: White, pink, lilac, purple with yellow centers.
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils including moderately dry ones. Plants grown in part shade or in rich, moist soils tend to flop and need support. Plants grown in drier soils will grow shorter, but often less vigorously with inferior flowering. If support becomes an issue, plant stems may be pinched or cut back by 1/3, in somewhat the same way as with many asters, in late spring to early summer to reduce plant height and minimize support needs. Slowly spreads by creeping rhizomes. Easily grown from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Boltonia asteroides, commonly called false chamomile or false aster, is a rhizomatous perennial which typically grows to 5-6’ tall on erect, usually branching stems clad with alternate, linear, lance-shaped, stalkless, gray-green leaves (to 5” long). Tiny, daisy-like flowers (to 3/4” diameter) in loose panicles typically cover this aster-like plant with a profuse bloom from late summer to early fall. Flowers typically have white rays with yellow center disks, but sometimes the rays are pink-tinged, violet or purple. Fruits are seed-like achenes. This boltonia is native to wet prairies, wet meadows, marshes, stream banks and pond peripheries in eastern and central North America from North Dakota to Maine south to Florida and Texas plus Manitoba and Saskatchewan with disjunct populations in Oregon and Idaho.

Genus name honors James Bolton (1735-1799), English botanist.

Specific epithet means resembling asters in obvious reference to flower similarity.


No serious insect or disease problems. Taller plants may need support. Susceptible to powdery mildew.


Naturalized areas, cottage gardens or native plant gardens. May be used in border backgrounds, however species plants are somewhat weedy and several varieties and cultivars might be better border selections -- see e.g., Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama ‘Snowbank' which is a compact plant (3-4’ tall) with white daisy-like flowers.