Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (L.) Nesom

Remark The words or terms in red (actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a glossary.

sep_18_17.gthmb can't be loaded. Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (Aster novae-angliae) is a native perennial forb of North America. It is a stout, leafy plant, with a robust, upright habit, up to 6 feet high. It has a profuse bloom of daisy-like flower heads with purple rays and yellow centers; the plant blooms from late summer to early fall and is one of the loveliest aster. The plant belongs to the Asteraceae family.


In Greek : so that Symphyotrichum would refer to a plant having fruits with pappus and growing together, the case of the disk florets.

In Latin, nova means new, and novae its genitive case. Anglia is the latinized name of England; the Celtic inhabitants of Great Britain were known as the Anglii by the Romans. So that Symphyotrichum novae-angliae means Symphyotrichum of New England, New England being the name given to the English colonies of North America.

As for the old genus name, in Greek, αστηρ (aster) means star, and the genus name refers then to the shape of the flower head.

Common names

The vernacular name of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is New England Aster (in French the name is, quite obviously, Aster de la Nouvelle-Angleterre). draw.jpg can't be loaded.


Symphyotrichum novae-angliae has also been known as:


Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is very easy to identify because of the dense number of leaves it has on its stems, as well as its big deep purple flower heads. Aster puniceus is a bit similar, but grows in wet areas, and its flowers have few rays.




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Flower heads



Symphyotrichum novae-angliae needs full sun and medium moisture. It requires well-drained soil and prefers sandy, loamy and clay soils, preferably non-acidic. It grows in in moist prairies, meadows, thickets, low valleys and stream banks, along lakes, roadsides, railroads.


map_na.jpg can't be loaded. Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is found throughout most of North America except for the Southwest. Although it is native to Eastern North America, extending north from Canada to Alabama in the south, it is now naturalized in most of the USA, and in several areas of Great Britain.


Because of its beauty Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is quite often cultivated and quite easy to grow. It is often sold in nurseries as a garden plant.

The root is said to be analgesic, astringent, expectorant and febrifuge. A poultice has been used in the treatment of pain, fevers and diarrhoea. The ooze of the roots has been sniffed in the treatment of catarrh. A decoction of the whole plant has also been used in the treatment of all kinds of fevers and in the treatment of weak skin.


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The month, day and picture number might be followed by a letter:

and if there is no letter it's obviously the Minolta.

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Stems, leaves, phyllaries

The picture on the right was scanned at 300 dpi.

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Flower heads

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