Symphyotrichum novi-belgii

Common Name: New York aster 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Eastern North America (coastal)
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Violet-blue or pink to white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Wet Soil


Easily grown in evenly moist to wet, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers organically rich soils. Tolerant of sandy and clayey soils. Good air circulation and consistently moist soils with good drainage help reduce incidence of foliar diseases. Prune stems to 6" in late spring or early summer to encourage a bushier habit, stronger stems, and shorter height if desired. Plants can be cut back after flowering to reduce self-seeding. Propagate through division, cuttings, or seed. Hardy in Zones 4-8.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Symphyotrichum novi-belgii, commonly called New York aster, is a herbaceous perennial native to the eastern United States and Canada, from Newfoundland south to Georgia. It is typically found at lower elevations in coastal, brackish marshlands, forest edges, and meadows as well as inland riverbanks, lake shores, fens and bog edges. Mature plants will reach around 3-4' tall with a 2-3' spread. The leaves can be variable, but tend to be narrow to oblong-lanceolate, 2-6" long and 0.25-0.5" wide. Showy sprays of blue-violet or pink to white blooms appear from late summer to mid-fall. The flowerheads will reach 1-1.25" wide and are made up of 15-25, narrow, showy ray florets surrounding a small cluster of yellow disk florets. The blooms are attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators. Formerly known as Aster novi-belgii.

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

The specific epithet novi-belgii means "of or from New York". Novae Belgiae or "New Belgium" was the Latin name given to the Dutch colony of New Netherland, which included portions of the present day northeastern United States from the Delmarva Penninsula north to the southwestern edge of Cape Cod.

The common name New York aster refers to the scientific name of this plant, which in turn refers to part of the native range of this species. Common name of michaelmas daisy honors St. Michael's Day (September 29) which falls during the time this aster is in bloom.


Susceptible to powdery mildew.


Borders, butterfly gardens, rock gardens, rain gardens, cottage gardens, seaside gardens. Containers. Relatively low habit makes this a good plant for the border front or as an edger. Good complement or substitute for chrysanthemums.