Content Detail

New York aster, also known as Michaelmas daisy, is a robust, upright native perennial with gray-green leaves and dense crown of fall-blooming, purple daisy-like flowers. A great addition to the late season perennial garden when combined with goldenrod and native grasses.

  • Family (English) Aster
  • Family (botanic) Asteraceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches), Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Occasional flooding, Road salt, Wet sites
  • Season of interest early fall, late summer, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, Purple
  • Shape or form Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size and form:

New York aster is an upright growing three to five feet high and wide perennial. There are shorter cultivars available.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is found throughout North America in moist, wet meadows, wood edges and coastal habitat. C-Value: 4

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Butterflies, bees and other pollinators are attracted to New York aster.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

This perennial has alternate, simple, lanceolate to broadly linear leaves that are three to five inches long with a sessile or clasping to thin stem. Upper leaf surface is stiff with pubescence underside, margins are slightly toothed.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

New York aster produces in late summer into fall large panicles of showy, daisy-like, violet-blue flowers with a central ring of yellow florets. Flower color varies by cultivar.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The seed has tuft of hairs that aid in wind dispersal.

Plant care:

New York Asters prefer full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil. Prone to root rot if planted in constant wet soil. To promote compact habit pinch back tall forms before July, otherwise plants may need staking. To divide older plants dig it up in spring, replant the vigorous side growth and discard older center stems. To avoid fungal diseases allow good air circulation between plants.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

This perennial can get powdery mildew, rust, and lace bugs. It is deer and rabbit resistant.

Blue Lagoon New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Blue Lagoon’):

This cultivar grows 20 to 24 inches and wide with a low bushy habit and in fall produces clear blue daisy-like flowers.

Coombe Violet New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Coombe Violet’):

This upright, bushy cultivar grows three to four feet high and two to three feet wide. It has gray-green leaves and in fall violet-purple flowers.

Henry III New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Henry III’):

It is known for its’ double flowers.

Peter Harrison New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii  ‘Peter Harrison’):

It is a low bushy cultivar growing only one to one half feet high and wide. Pink flowers will bloom in the fall.

Professor Anton Kippenberg New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Professor Anton Kippenberg’):

This cultivar has a compact habit growing one to two feet high and wide. Its semi-double flowers bloom lavender-blue.

Raspberry Swirl New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Raspberry Swirl’):

It grows 18 to 24 inches high and wide and produces magenta-red flowers.

Royal Ruby New York Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Royal Ruby’):

This cultivar grow 20 to 30 inches high and in fall produces semi-double red blooms.


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