Asters, Michaelmas Daisy or Starwort

Latin for "star" referring to the shape of the flowers. The common name, Michaelmas daisy or Christmas aster comes from the fact that in England, they may bloom as late as Christmas.

Asters tend to bloom in later summer and through the fall so they provide an extended season in the garden.

Note: Certain members of this very large genus have been moved recently as a result of studies by taxonomists to other genera including, Symphyotrichum.

Aster alpinus Alpine Aster
A. x alpellus Triumph Aster
A. amellus Italian Aster, European Michaelmas Daisy
A. divaricatus White Wood Aster
A. dumosus New York Aster
A. farreri  
A. x frikartii Frikart's Aster
A. hybridus Oregon Aster
A. ilchengensis  
A. longolensis East Indies Aster
A. laevis Smooth Aster
A. lateriflorus Calico Aster
A. macrophyllus Big Leaf Aster
A. novae-angliae New England Aster
A. novi-belgii New York Aster, Michaelmas Daisy
A. oblongifolius Aromatic Aster
A. oolentangiensis Azure Aster
A. pilosus Frost Aster
A. praealtus Willow Aster
A. puniceus Purple Stemmed Aster
A. sedfolius Michaelmas Daisy
A. tataricus Tartarian Aster
A. thomsonii Thomson's Aster
A. tongolensis East Indies Aster
A. umbellatus Flat Topped Aster
A. yunnanensis Napsbury Aster

Note: The term, Michaelmas Daisy, applies to several species of tall asters that bloom during the Feast of the Archangel Michael which is celebrated chiefly in England on September 29th.

Species Height
in feet
Singles or
A. alpinus ½-¾  Single Summer
A. amellus 2-2½ Single, Cluster Early Fall
A. divaricatus  1-2 Cluster Summer
A. x frikartii  2-3 Cluster   Early Fall
A. novae-angliae 4-6 Cluster Early Fall
A. novi-belgii  1-6 Cluster Early Fail
A. sedfolius  2-3 Cluster Fall
A. tataritus 3-6 Cluster Late Fall
A. thompsonii 1-3 Cluster Early Fall
A. longolensis 1-2 Single Summer

* Guides and Keys are from the book "Herbaceous Perennial Plants A Treatise on their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes" by Dr Allan M. Armitage of the University of Georgia. Varsity Press, Athens, Georgia. 1989 ISBN 0-942375-00. More on Dr Armitage and his other books..


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