Botanical name: Aster, Callistephus, Eurybia, Kalimeris, Symphyotrichum
Common name: Michaelmas daisy, aster, China aster, New England asters
Asters are popular plants, unrivalled for their range of late-season flower colour between summer and the end of autumn. Asters lend themselves well to a range of garden styles from prairie plantings to cottage gardens and mixed borders. More are perennials lasting years in the border, but some such as Callistephus (China asters) are grown as annuals from seed each spring.
They are all daisy-flowered plants and once they used to all be known as Aster. Now they have been split into several genera: Aster, Callistephus, Eurybia, Kalimeris, Symphyotrichum – we’ve kept them all together on this page so you can easily choose those that you really like and would grow well in your garden.
Clumps of mid green leaves carry upright stems topped with white, pink, lilac, purple, blue or red daisy flowers, often with yellow centres.
Asters grow in most moisture-retentive soil types that are fertile or have been improved with organic matter such as garden compost. They are happiest in full sun but can cope with light shade.
They do not do well in dry or waterlogged soil. They are unlikely to flower in deep shade.
Did you know?
Many daisy-flowered plants that were once known as Aster have now been reclassified and have a different genus name. You’ll still hear them being referred to as asters though, as it’s frequently used as a common name.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.