NEW ENGLAND ASTER

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

New England Aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is a species of flowering plant in the aster family native to central and eastern North America. Commonly known as New England aster, or Michaelmas-daisy, because it blooms around the fall equinox which coincides with the feast of St Michael. It’s abundant rich purple/lavender colored flowers provide abundant late season food for pollinators and perfect for meadows.

Monarchs rely heavily on asters (and goldenrods) for sustenance to prepare for migration. They are extremely important sources of nectar and pollen for many varieties of bees. Doug Tallamy has referred to asters as “keystone plants,” known to ho be host plants for 112 species of moths and butterflies.

Asters have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Many Native Americans—especially the Cherokee— used poltices and fusions of the roots for pain, fever and diarrhea.

SPECS: Genus: Symphyotrichum ; Species: Novae-angliae; Plant Type: Forb; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade; Soil Moisture: Medium Wet; Height: 3′ — 6′; Spread: 2′; Plant Spacing: 2′; Bloom Time: August — September; Bloom Color: Blue, Lavender, Pink, Purple; Advantages: Low maintenance, Medicinal uses, Perfect for rain garden; USDA Zone: 4 — 8; Attracts: Beneficial insects, Butterflies; Tolerant: Clay, Deer; Plant Community: Goes well with marsh milkweed, mountain mint, golden alexander, shooting star, big bluestem, switchgrass, prairie phlox & stiff goldenrod.;