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Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New england aster)
Bloodworth, Stefan

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (L.) G.L. Nesom

New England Aster, New England American-aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Aster novae-angliae, Lasallea novae-angliae, Virgulus novae-angliae

USDA Symbol: syno2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

New England American-aster is large and showy, growing to 6 or more ft. in height. The perennialís hairy, clasping leaves are arranged densely on its stout stems. Showy, bright, rose-purple flowers with orange-yellow centers bloom in profusion at the tips of the leafy branches.

The flower color is variable, ranging from lavender to blue to white. A pink variety of this species is sometimes grown commercially.


From the Image Gallery

215 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AL , AR , CO , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: BC , MB , NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: Que. & ME to SC, w. to e. Great Plains; also mts. of WY, CO & NM; naturalized elsewhere
Native Habitat: Moist, open, wooded areas; meadows; mesic prairies; disturbed sites; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: New England aster flowers until frost. Its roots should be divided every several years to keep the plant growing vigorously. Can be aggressive.

Seen with Goldenrods in old fields undergoing natural succession. Source of several cultivars. (Ontario Native Plants 2002)


Use Wildlife: Bees and butterflies frequent this wildflower. Nectar source for Monarch butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)and checkerspot butterflies.
Nectar Source: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Pearl Crescent
(Phyciodes tharos)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Sow seeds, 5/8" deep, outside in fall or provide cold stratification. New England aster can also be propagated by "softwood" cuttings taken in late spring. Mature plants can be divided in the spring by sectioning off individual stems with their associat
Seed Collection: The seed heads remain intact for several weeks after the first frost. At that time, shade the nutlets loose or pluck them from the head. Air-dry and store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: This species requires or benefits from a three month period of cold-moist stratification in the refrigerator. Damp stratify 4-6 weeks prior to planting.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native wildflowers for Northern Indiana
May 08, 2007
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Saturday April 21. What a beautiful place. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I was wondering how I could find out w...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1989 VOL. 6, NO.4 - Spring Climbs Rockies Slowly, Colorado Cooler, Conference of Wildflower and Nati...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Symphyotrichum novae-angliae in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Symphyotrichum novae-angliae in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Symphyotrichum novae-angliae


Record Modified: 2023-01-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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