New England aster

Symphyotrichumnovae-angliae (L.) Nesom formerly Aster novae-angliae L.

Family: Asteraceae (aster)

  • Bloom Period:
    • Late,
  • Growth Cycle:
    • Perennial,
  • Growth Habit:
    • Forbs/Herbs,
  • Insect Type Attracted:
    • Natural Enemy,
    • Pollinator,
  • Light:
    • Full,
    • Partial,
  • Region:
    • Northern Lower Peninsula,
    • Southern Lower Peninsula,
  • Soil Moisture:
    • Dry,
    • Medium,
    • Wet
  • Height:
    • 3-6ft

Natural enemies attracted

Highly attractive: Orius insidiousus,

Moderately attractive: Chalcidoidea and Salticidae.

Mildly attractive: Coccinellidae, Empididae, Cynipoidea, Ichneumonidae, Thomisidae, and Braconidae.

Pollinators attracted

Moderately attractive: bees including Andrenid bees, sweat bees, small carpenter bees, and bumble bees.

Pests attracted

Highly attractive: Lygus bug.

Moderately attractive: leaf beetles.

Mildly attractive: leafhoppers, thrips, Japanese beetles and weevils.

Plant notes

Vibrant purple and pale violet blossoms about 3/4 inch across graced the plant during September. Plants grow to 3-5 ft tall and this species filled in fairly well in our study location. This was the eighth most attractive late season plant to natural enemies, with more than three times as many natural enemies as the grass control.


This plant can handle full sun to partial shade, and dry to fairly wet locations. It occurs naturally in areas with open ground, frequently moist to wet areas, including meadows, fields, shores, shrubby swamps, fens, wet prairies, and edges of streams and rivers.

Cultivation and management

This aster can be grown from seed (It flowers in the second or third year.) or plug material (flowers in the first or second year).