New England Aster

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Asteraceae - Aster Family

 

New England Aster is a perennial flower native to North America. It is found in all of the lower 48 states except for Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, and Texas.1 It grows 3'-6' tall, and prefers moist soil and areas including moist, open, wooded areas, meadows, prairies, and stream banks. When in bloom, this plant is loaded with purple-blue daisy-like blooms with yellow centers. The New England Aster blooms its pink and purple flowers from August to October.1

This flower requires part shade and moist soils for best growth. This species requires and benefits from a three-month period of cold-moist stratification in the refrigerator. For best results, damp stratify 4-6 weeks prior to planting.2 The New England aster flowers until frost. Its roots should be divided every several years to keep the plant growing vigorously.2

This flower attracts butterflies and bees. It is a great nectar source for Monarch butterflies. This flower is the larval host for the Pearl Crescent and Checkerspot butterflies.2

References and Useful Websites:

1 Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture

2 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

This page was prepared by Beau Harrison, Biology 102, Fall 2011

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