Asters associate well with other late-flowering daises like Heleniums

Basic Facts:

A huge and diverse group of plants and members of the Asteraceae family. The well known Michaelmas Daisies flower in Autumn. There are also spring-flowering types.

Now divided into a number of separate groups including:  Eurybia - the Woodland Asters and Symphyotrichum - the American Asters. The European Asters have stayed put!

Garden Use:

Great flower power and the autumn types are unsurpassed. These look good with grasses such as Miscanthus and Molinia

Wildlife Interest:

Very valuable for late flying bees and butterflies.

Goldfinches will enjoy the seed heads in winter

Cut Flower Use:

Asters make good cut flowers.


We mostly think of them as sun lovers and many need a fairly sunny spot but there are some for shade, even dry shade.

Autumn flowering types benefit from division every 1-3 years. They can be divided in autumn or spring, but expect losses if dividing in autumn.

Dead heading prolongs flowering.

Taller types may require staking in exposed positions.


Many spread by ground level rooting stems which makes propagation easy. Others require  more careful division of new plantlets from the parent. As with most late flowering plants, autumn Asters are best divided in early spring.

Pests and Diseases:

Some types of Aster can host powdery mildew. We grow varieties that are mildew-free or only slightly affected. Regular division and an airy, open aspect will help prevent problems.

Native to many parts of the world. Many of the garden types come from North America.

Aster laevis Calliope

Calliope goes so well with Moor Grasses (Molinia) in autumn

(now called Symphyotrichum laeve Calliope)

One of the glories of the late summer / autumn border. Sparkling in the low sun, it also shines out brilliantly in dull weather. Tall plants (up to 4ft / 120cm) with striking black stems and red-tinged leaves. The lavender purple flowers open in October and last into November (may flower slightly earlier some years). Mildew free in the ground. Does spread but not rapidly. Pretty well self-supporting.

The epithet laevis means "smooth" referring probably to the leaves and stems - most Asters have hairy leaves.

Price £6.00 (9cm pot)

Aster Glow in the Dark

A newish introduction from Avondale Nursery that is a cross between Aster laevis Calliope and Aster novi-belgii Fellowship. It inherits its dark stems and dark green leaves from the former and thankfully doesn't seem to have brought along any of the novi-belgii mildew proneness.

Its got to about 5ft tall in some moist and muck-enriched soil in our long border.

Price £6.00 (9cm pot)

Aster Little Carlow

(now called Symphyotrichum Little Carlow)

Violet-blue flowers on 3ft / 90cm tall plants. Likes a good rich soil. The flower heads are very large and may need a little support when grown in rich soils.

RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Price £6.00 (9cm pot)

Aster novi-angliae Marina Wolkonski

Dark Purple 4ft / 120cm tall - taller than Helen Picton and mildew free in our garden.

Price £6.00 (9cm pot)

Aster Twilight (now called Eurybia x.herveyi)

Shade lover (even dry) with violet flowers and large leaves. 2ft tall. Does creep at the roots but anything that flowers in dry shade is welcome to spread in my garden!

Price £6.00 (9cm pot)

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