Free shipping on ALL plant orders!

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

New England aster add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: SALE, Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average

Height: 3'-6'

Bloom Time: August, September, October

Bloom Color: purple, pink, lilac

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts butterflies, colonizing, cottage garden plant, cut flowers, deer resistant, naturalizing

Flower of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)
  • Flower of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)
  • Flower of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)
  • Flower of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)
  • Flower of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster)

Pricing & Availability

x

Some plants might not be available to you due to quarantine restrictions, or nursery limitations.

To make it easier for you to buy locally, we will sort the available nurseries based on their distance to your garden.

Description

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Also known as:

New England aster

,

New England American aster

Scientific Synonyms:

Aster novae-angliae, Lasallea novae-angliae, Virgulus novae-angliae

Description

No garden can be complete without the late-season splash of color provide by asters, and Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is one of the showiest ones of the lot. Towering at up to 6', it is also among the tallest native asters. With flowers correspondently large (up to 2" across) and a blooming period of up to 2 months, this species will leave a long-lasting impression. The bloom color can be highly variable with hues ranging from blue to purple and pink. Plant height can also be variable depending on the characteristics of the plant's location. The leaves are opposite and can easily be distinguished from other species within the genus for being conspicuously pubescent. Each plant consists of a central stem that typically becomes branched towards the top.

Cultivation

New England aster is very easy to grow and adaptable. It will thrive in full to part-sun, and moist to average soil. Due to its height, it will tend to flop over without the support of neighboring plants. To lessen this tendency, or to avoid the need for stacking, plants can be pinched back repeatedly until about mid-July to encourage a more compact and robust form. During extended dry spells, the lower leaves might be shed but this will have no effect on the overall health of the plants. They do however require good air circulation and will benefit from being thinned out every few years. It will spread vegetatively via short rhizomes to form dense clumps and eventually large colonies. It also spreads readily from seed, especially where there is bare or disturbed soil. Zones 4-8

Propagation

Easily propagated from seed in fall, or by division in spring.

Additional Notes

The genus, Symphyotrichum, is derive from the Greek symph meaning coming together or grouped (think symphony), and the Greek thrix meaning hair and a possible reference to the thin flower rays or its anthers. The specific epithet is simply the Latinized translation of New England.

The bigger question is why Symphyotrichum and no longer Aster??? I’m afraid the answer is way above my pay grade, so I will defer to an expert:

“In 1994, a study of asters world-wide indicated that the native Eurasian species stand apart from the North American ones. The name Aster is most appropriately associated with the Eurasian species, leaving the approximately 180 North American species to find names within other genera. By far the largest number of the North American species transferred from Aster to other genera are now in Symphyotrichum (about 90 species). Other North American genera where the ‘old’ asters are now located are Almutaster, Ampelaster, Aster [only 2 North American species remain in this genus], Canadanthus, Chloracantha, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Oclemena, Oreostemma, and Sericocarpus.

Some of these Latinized scientific names were ‘invented’ and published long ago and, by the rules of nomenclature, must be used. The ‘principle of priority’ establishes that the first name published in a specified manner is the correct one. Symphyotrichum, which displaces the more euphonious Aster in the majority of the species, seems especially peculiar and tongue-twisting, and although it has almost never been used until very recently, it was first proposed in 1832 and can’t be denied its rightful place.”

Guy Nesom (UNC Botany Ph.D. 1980)

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CA, 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

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae Aster family
Genus Symphyotrichum aster
Species Symphyotrichum novae-angliae New England aster