Aster novae-angliae

(ass' ter no' vii-an-glee' ee)

Common name: New England Aster

Family: Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 4-6' x 3-5'

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: lanceolate 1-5" long, toothless margins, clasping the thick stems

Flowers: variable color from purple to blue to white, or pink cultivars; 1-2" wide flower heads clustered at ends of branches with 35-45 ray flowers and yellowish disc flowers; bracts beneath flowers and flower stalks are sticky

Hardiness: zones 3-7

Soil: moist to wet-thickets and occasionally swampy

Light: sun to part shade further south

Pests and Problems: rusts, powdery and downy mildews, leaf spots, aster wilt (Verticillium), chrysanthemum lacebugs, mites, aphids, Japanese beetles, chewing by small mammals

Landscape habit, uses: meadow gardens (they compete well with grasses), butterfly gardens, cut flowers (put immediately into water as they wilt quickly)

Other interest: native to northern U.S. and Plains; Native Americans smoked the roots and made an infusion from the plant to treat intestinal disorders;

Other culture: most cultivars may need staking or support as they tend to flop in the garden; may be pruned in early summer for bushier habit; ray flowers close over disc flowers during cloudy weather and at night

Propagation: seeds, spring division, tip cuttings

Related Species: see asters under perennials


There are many cultivars available, with the following the most commonly seen in commerce and those marked * the most popular.




*'Alma Potschke'

bright rose





*'Harrington's Pink'



*'Hella Lacey'



'Honeysong Pink'

pink, yellow centers


*'Purple Dome'

deep blue


'September Ruby'

ruby red





©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course, fall 1997.

 Return to lecture plants list.