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Herbaceous PerennialSynonym

Aster novae-angliae 'Helen Picton'
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

New England aster 'Helen Picton'

'Helen Picton' is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial to about 1m with narrow , mid-green leaves. Relatively large, rich purple flowers with yellow to dark orange centres open from late summer to mid-autumn

Synonyms
Aster novae-angliae 'Helen Picton'

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn Purple Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Symphyotrichum includes around 90 species of annuals, biennials and perennials, mostly spread through the Americas, that were formerly included within the genus Aster. Leaves are simple, lance-shaped and entire, but it is their daisy-like flowerheads that they are grown for; central disc florets are typically yellow, surrounded by strap-shaped ray florets in shades of pink, blue, purple or white

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Thrives in fertile, moist but well drained, preferably neutral to alkaline soil in sun or partial shade. Plants will benefit from mulching in autumn, and will not tolerate waterlogging in winter. May need support, see staking (perennials). For more advice see aster cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by division in spring. Lift and divide approximately every three years, replanting only vigorous young shoots

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Prairie planting
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Cut flowers
Pruning

Cut stems back close to the ground in late autumn

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs and snails on new growth, and to aphids and leaf and bud eelworms

Diseases

May be susceptible to Fusarium wilt, leaf spot, grey moulds and verticillium wilt. Has some resistance to powdery mildews

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