New England aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, is a perennial member of the Asteraceae family that includes chrysanthemums and daisies.
Also known as Michaelmas daisy, this nectar-rich flower is native to the US, where it grows wild along roadways and in meadows. A close look at its vivid purple blossoms reveals yellow centers teeming with butterflies and bees, nature’s most beneficial pollinators.
A Transitional Treasure
Once planted, S. novae-angliae rewards with years of vigorous growth and exceptional color, making every summer to fall transition a feast for the eyes.
This striking flower plays well with goldenrod and Montauk daisies, both of which complement its sunny yellow centers.
Plant in average to moist, well-drained soil, in a location that gets sun. Give it room to roam, and it will increase in size each year, growing in bushy mounds laden with blossoms.
I leave mine to its own designs; however, it tends to get leggy. To achieve a more compact appearance, you may prune one-third off in early summer.
S. Novae-Angliae Plant Facts:
- Average to moist, well-drained soil
- Blooms August through October/first frost
- Full sun to partial shade
- Height 2 1/2 to 7 feet
- Prune as desired
- Shades of purple
- Zones 4 to 8
A perennial native flower is a great investment; it’s beautiful, comes up every year, and provides much-needed habitat for pollinators.
Where to Buy
Aster ‘Purple Dome’ is available from Nature Hills Nursery. Enjoy an abundance of bright purple, yellow-centered blossoms from late summer until frost.
One- to two-inch daisy-like flowers top two- to three-foot stems, in compact masses that are perfect for gardens or containers.
Turn Up the Color
There’s no easier way to energize a summer-to-fall garden than with asters.
And, if perennial isn’t your style, check out our article, “Plant China Aster for Color in the Late Summer Garden,” about a non-native annual variety with cultivars in a range of designer colors.
Autumn in my part of the Northeast is a spectacular event, especially with vivid splashes of purple flowers added to the scarlet, gold, and fiery orange foliage . As a matter of fact, it’s so pretty, I never mind ditching the indoor chores for an hour of leaf raking on a gloriously sunny day.
And, speaking of raking leaves, what could make the job easier than a top-quality rake? Get the scoop on the best tools for autumn in our article, “Make Raking Leaves a Breeze with the Right Tool: The Top 5 Leaf Rakes Reviewed.”
What vibrant colors will take your summer garden into fall this year? Tell us in the comments section below.
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Product photo via Nature Hills Nursery. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.
About Nan Schiller
Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!