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Illinois Native Plant Guide - New England Aster - Pages 40-41

Illinois Native Plant Guide

New England Aster
Aster novae-angliae

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Prefers moist soil to wet-mesic conditions. Species has limited inundation tolerance. Germinating seedlings are killed by 2 days of inundation. Mature plants appear to tolerate short periods of shallow flooding in natural areas but not in reconstructed wet areas.

Wildlife Value

Provides waterfowl cover. Attracts butterflies and honeybees.


Used on moderate side slopes in prairie matrix. Used in upper shoreline zones and for upland slope buffer stabilization.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Transplants, achenes, and rootstocks are available from several commercial vendors.
  • Fresh achenes or achenes stored dry produce 95-100% germination in 3-8 days. Moist stratification of fresh achenes benefits germination. Drill or broadcast achenes in the fall and cover them lightly with soil for natural stratification.
  • Mature plants may be divided in late fall or early spring. Pinching back young growth before July will cause plants to bush out. Spring cuttings of 1.5-2 inches may be rooted in sand.
  • An April-May drawdown stimulates seed germination and plant growth. New England Aster can be aggressive and form monocultures.

New England Aster
Aster novae-angliae

Mature HeightNew England Aster
1-6.5 feet

Plant Type
Perennial herb

Indicator Status
Facultative Wet


Nutrient Load Tolerance

Salt Tolerance

Siltation Tolerance

Flowering Color and Time
Violet/purple, yellow center
-greenhouse grown plants may vary in color
August to October-

Light Preference
Partial to full sun

Seeding Rate
.03 - .2 lbs/acre

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