Plants We Love – Asters

Raydons Favorite AsterAster

While reading through some past issues of Gardens Illustrated I found a great article about Asters or Michaelma Daisies as they are called in the United Kingdom.  There are a number of Asters that are annuals, but most are perennials that bloom later in the season.  Read below and find out why we have it as this months “Plants We Love.”

Native News

As of late there have been changes made to the Aster genus.  It has been divided into new genera Symphyotrichum and Eurybia are native species to North America.   Some examples of natives are Eurybia divaricate (White Wood Aster) Symphytrichum novi –belgii (New York Aster) and Symphyotrichum laeve (Smooth Blue Aster).

Jindai Aster

Flower time

These cheerful plants bring to the garden a great splash of color from the late summer to fall.  Asters have small daisy like flowers or star shaped – astr in greek meaning star, star- shaped.  The flowers range in colors from pinks, purples and whites.  They are a great addition to any garden because they offer color late in the season when not a lot is blooming.  Asters are great for pollinators, attracting honeybees and butterflies.




Asters are great for mixing in herbaceous flower beds because they help extend your flowering season in your garden. Other good flowering companions are Helenium, Sedum, Hydrangeas, and Anemones, Joe Pye Weed , Dendranthemum, and Tall Coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris).


Varieties PicturedWhite Wood Aster

Though there are many different cultivars here are a few that we have pictured and are growing in our gardens.

  • Raydon’s Favorite – Very late blooming cultivar of the native found in country meadows.  Light purple flower, grows to 3’, bushy in form.
  • Jindai – Great butterfly attractor. Light purple flower, large leafy foliage, grows 3 – 5’ tall.  Foliage is attractive though out the growing season and a terrific weed suppressant.
  • Purple Dome – Dark purple flowers in late summer, self-sowing, 18 – 24” tall.
  • White Wood – Native! Small white flowers, that offers a lacy texture and brightens up a shady area when in bloom.


Purple Dome Aster


Key feature: Late summer to fall

Plant type: Perennial and annual, depending

Garden styles:  Contemporary, Rustic, Country, English

Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous

Cold hardiness zones:

Light needs: Partial to full sun

Water Needs: Requires regular watering.

Average landscape size: depends on cultivar

Growth habit: Upright

Special features: Showy flowers

Landscape uses: Border, accent flower

Flower color: Shades of white, pink, purple

Foliage color: Green