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Native Plant of the Week: New England Aster

Family: Asteraceae


Name: Symphyotrichum nova-angliae - New England Aster


Bloom Time: September-October


Flower: Purple


Soil Condition: Moist, adaptable


Light: Sun-partial shade


Height: 36-60"tall and 24-36" wide


Native Range: Eastern North America including Long Island


Zone: 3 to 8

Photo: Dan Mullem (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is a fantastic plant for migrating Monarch butterflies, It is moderately deer resistant. It performs well in a planter and makes a beautiful cut flower. Tolerates juglone (black walnut) and clay soils. Great for naturalizing as it self-sows readily in the garden.

Maintenance: To reduce height, you may cut the plant back by 1/2 by mid-July. It is prone to powdery mildew. It may be aggressive, but you can remove the seed heads to control the spread.


Benefits: Pollinators, nectar source, host plant to the Pearl Crescent and Checkerspot butterflies, birds eat the seeds, supports 7 specialized native bees


Noteworthy Cultivars:

'Purple Dome' - compact variety, 24' tall


Companion Plants: Panicum virgatum - Switchgrass, Solidago rugosa - Rough Goldenrod, Liatris spicata - Blazing Star, Andropogon gerardii - Big Bluestem


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