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New England aster

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Regular price $6.48 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.48 USD
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Sun/shade: Full sun to part shade

Soil moisture: Medium to wet

Height: 2-4'

Spread: 2-3'

Flowering period: September

One of the meadow’s great color combinations can be achieved with this singular wildflower, whose golden-yellow discs and bold purple rays throw subtlety to the autumn winds. Monarchs and other butterflies are drawn to the plant’s numerous flashy flowerheads, each of which offers an easy landing zone and multiple opportunities to probe for nectar. With its readily accessible floral rewards, New England Aster attracts many other pollinators as well, including flies, bees, beetles, and moths. Similar to goldenrods, plants within the aster genus (Symphyotrichum) are highly utilized by specialist bees who require the pollen from specific plants for their larval nutrition. Considering that specialist bees account for a large proportion of all bee species, planting their pollen hosts – like New England aster – is vital to maintaining bee diversity.

A NE Ohio native that can be found in meadows and forest edges as well as along roadsides, New England aster grows best under full sun and in soils of moderately wet to average moisture. The plant will attain a mature height of 3-6’ and produce its brilliant flowerheads for up to two months in the late summer and fall. To build on New England aster’s colorful display, plant with wildflowers such as wrinkleleaf goldenrod, grass-leaved goldenrod, late boneset, and common boneset.

References: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.

Photo 1 by Ashley Keesling. Photo 2 by Alyssa Zearley.

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