Content Detail

False aster produces large numbers of daisy-like white to pale lavender flowers late in the summer. The attractive foliage is blue-green. Easily grown in full sun and moist soils, false aster can tolerate a variety of conditions. Useful in naturalized areas or the back of perennial beds.

  • Family (English) Aster
  • Family (botanic) Asteraceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Purple, White
  • Shape or form Open
  • Growth rate Fast
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Wildlife Butterflies, Insect pollinators
  • Has cultivars Yes


False aster is a large, lanky plant reaching 5 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native in the eastern United States.

Attracts birds or pollinators:

Attracts butterflies and other pollinators.

Leaf description:

Alternate, blue-green, lance-shaped leaves attach directly to the stalks. The leaves can be up to 5 inches long.

Flower description:

An impressive display of one-inch, daisy-like, white to sometimes lavender flowers are borne on long flower stalks (panicles).

Fruit description:

Fruit is a small, dry pod with a single seed inside (achene).

Cultivars and their differences:

Doll’s Daisy (Boltonia asteroides ‘Nana’):

A dwarf false aster with pale lavender flowers, this cultivar reaches only 18 to 24 inches tall and wide.

Snowbank Boltonia (Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’): A compact version of the species, Snowbank is an heirloom plant that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall and typically requires less staking.

Plant care:

Best grown in full sun and average soil, the plant may require staking in less sun and moist soil. Pinch back or prune by one-third in early summer for a bushier, more compact plant. Easy to grow, you can divide in the spring every three to four years. It can also be grown by seed.

Disease, pests, and problems:

None serious. May require staking in moist soil or part shade.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance:

Deer and rabbit resistant. Tolerates most soils and conditions.


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