Types of Aster Flowers: Amazing Varieties of Aster Plants (With Pictures)

aster plant varieties

Asters are a type of beautiful perennial flower that can fill your garden with beautiful shades of purple and pink colors in fall. Planting different kinds of asters in your garden will brighten up your garden when other plants have stopped blooming. The most common aster flower color is purple or lilac. However, many beautiful asters come in shades of pink, white, red, and blue.

The scientific name for asters is Asteraceae, and it comes from the Greek word for star. Looking at pictures of common asters, you can see that the flowers have a distinct star shape.

Plants in the genus Aster have petals that look like the rays of the sun fanning out from a yellow center. Because they belong to the order Asterales, asters are also related to daisies, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and echinacea plants.

There are an estimated 180 species of aster with many more hundreds of hybrids and cultivars.

Many of the most popular types of asters are grouped into two main categories: New England asters (Aster novae-angliae) and New York asters (Aster novi-belgii). New England asters tend to be taller and grow to between 3 and 4 ft. tall (0.9 – 1.2 m) tall. New York asters are generally shorter at around 2 ft. (60 cm) tall. However, some cultivars can reach heights of around 6 ft. (1.8 m).

Asters are usually one of the last plants to flower in gardens and their stunning flowers last from late summer until late fall. These late-blooming perennial plants are also important food sources for bees and butterflies. They also provide your garden with wonderful colors in the fall.

In this article, you will learn about the many different types of asters that you can grow in your garden. It is important to remember that asters thrive in full to partial sun and in well-drained soil.

Types of Asters With Pictures

New England asters and New York asters are the two main types of asters that are popular in gardens. At the end of the article, you will find out about other species of popular asters.

New England Asters (Aster novae-angliae)

Most people rate New England asters as the most spectacular of all the plants in the aster genus. This plant genus is called the Spympyotrichum novae-angliae or the Aster novae-angliae. The plants are native to North America and are one of the most common plants to bloom in fall.

Here are some of the most spectacular New England aster cultivars.

Barr’s Pink (Aster novae-angliae)

Barr’s Pink - In the picture: pink aster flower with orange center

Barr’s Pink aster is one of the taller aster varieties

Barr’s Pink aster is an especially attractive species of New England aster due to its showy pink colored flowers. Flowers on this aster have multiple rows of densely packed thin pink-colored petals that fan out in a star shape. The center of the flower has a contrasting bronze center, giving this aster the classic ‘daisy look.’

This aster cultivar is one of the taller varieties that grows to about 5 ft. (150 cm) tall. These aster flowers are very attractive with the flower-heads growing up to 2.25” (5.7 cm) across. The clusters of flowering stems make this species of aster a good addition to fall gardens.

Purple Cloud (Aster novae-angliae)

purple cloud -In the picture: purple aster flower with orange center

‘Purple Cloud’ aster is classified as a New England aster variety

Another of the beautiful New England asters is the ‘Purple Cloud’ species. Each perennial plant produces many clusters of showy purple flowers with yellow center disks. This gives the plant a colorful bushy look in late summer and fall when it blooms. Flowers on this aster species have rows of dainty purple petals.

The flower stems grow to about 3 ft. (100 cm) tall and contain a multitude of purple flowers. As with all asters, plant in full sun to get the maximum effect from its beautiful flowers late in the season.

Rosa Sieger Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

Rosa sieger - In the picture: rose-pink aster flower with yellow center

The ‘Rosa Sieger’ aster flower has delicate pink petals and bright yellow center

The ‘Rosa Sieger’ is a New England aster cultivar that produces a multitude of light rose-pink flowers with yellow centers. The compact flowers with their bright fall colors look delightful in any garden in September and October. Because these asters are quite bushy, you get a lot of color on one plant.

These asters grow to between 3 and 4 ft. (90 – 120 cm) tall and have a spread of up to 2 ft. (60 cm).

September Ruby (Aster novae-angliae)

september ruby - In the picture: purple aster flower

The ‘September Ruby’ cultivar has burgundy colored petals with yellow center

The aster cultivar ‘September Ruby’ has some of the most striking deep purple fall flowers in your garden. The ruby-red petals fan out in a star-shape from a bright yellow disk center. The rich green leaves on this New England aster cultivar provide contrasting foliage on this bushy perennial.

Similar to most New England asters, the purple and yellow September Ruby grows around 3 to 4 ft. (90 – 120 cm) tall.

‘KICKIN’ New England Asters

'kickin' aster is a type of New England Aster. In the pictures lilac blue aster flower, pink chiffon flower, and carmine red aster flower

‘KICKIN’ New England Asters have rounded petals in various colors: lilac blue (main picture), pink chiffon (upper) and carmine red (lower)

There are a number of New England cultivars that are in the ‘KICKIN’ range. These are bushy perennial flowering cultivars that produce a mass of color in late summer through to the fall. Asters sold under the name ‘KICKIN’ are generally flowering bushes that provide a sea of fall colors.

‘KICKIN Lilac Blue’ is among the varieties of blue asters that produce many flowers on one bush. The identifying feature of these light-blue purple asters is their pretty blue petals and yellow disk centers. The number of flowers on each plant almost disguises the green foliage on the stems.

‘KICKIN Pink Chiffon’ is a New England aster cultivar that produces a mass of light pink, almost white, aster flowers. Each flower-head consists of semi-double flowers in the classic daisy look. The ray petals surround a round yellow center to create an eye-catching sea of light colors when they bloom in late summer and fall. This type of aster is great as a border plant as it only grows between 24” and 36” (60 – 90 cm).

‘KICKIN Carmine Red’ is another beautiful type of aster that creates a colorful bush in the fall. These semi-double flowers have a magenta-red color with bright yellow disks in the center. As with most asters, they have a contrasting yellow button-type center.

New York Asters (Aster novi-belgii)

New York asters (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii or Aster novi-belgii) are commonly called Michaelmas daisies. There are thousands of cultivars in this genus that flower in late summer and fall and have purple, pink, and white flowers. New York asters also tend to be much showier than the simple flowers in the genera of New England asters.

Although there are variations in cultivars, New York asters can be much shorter and have more showy flowers. For example, some types of New York asters may be as short as 1 ft (30 cm) or as tall as 6 ft (1.8 m).

Ada Ballard Asters (Aster novi-belgii)

ada ballard aster flower with many layers of light purple petals

‘Ada Ballard’ aster has many layers of light purple petals

The aster cultivar ‘Ada Ballard’ has one of the showiest types of aster flowers. The lavender-blue petals form a large flower head with multiple layers of petals. These large flowers measure around 3” (7.6 cm) and sit on the top of slender green stems. The ‘Ada Ballard’ aster has a yellow center that is difficult to see due to the bushy look of the flowers.

These New York asters grow to around 3 ft. (90 cm) tall and have a spread of up to 2 ft. (60 cm).

Chatterbox New York Asters

chatterbox aster flowers - in the picture purple lilac flowers

‘Chatterbox’ aster has semi-double pale lilac flowers

Another striking type of New York aster is the ‘Chatterbox’ asters. This bushy perennial fall-flowering plant has semi-double flowers that are light lilac-pink in color that are narrow and rounded at their end. In the center of the bushy flower is a bright yellow disk.

Unlike most other aster cultivars, the ‘Chatterbox’ variety is a dwarf plant. These flowering plants bloom in the fall and only grow to between 12” and 24” (30 – 60 cm) and are a great way to create colorful garden borders.

Royal Ruby (Aster novi-belgii)

Royal Ruby aster flower

‘Royal Ruby’ aster flower has beautiful magenta colored thin petals

If you want to add vibrant pinks and reds to your garden in the fall, then choose ‘Royal Ruby’ asters for your garden. These low-growing, low maintenance plants have thin petals to create a classic daisy-shaped flower. These beautiful pink flowers have a dark yellow-bronze center.

The stunning red and pink flowers contrast with the green lance-shaped foliage. These are good border plants to grow for vivid colors in your garden during fall.

Fellowship Asters (Aster novi-belgii)

fellowship aster with pale pink double flowers

‘Fellowship’ aster has pale pink double flowers

With its quill-shaped light pink bushy petals, the ‘Fellowship’ aster cultivar produces beautiful fall flowers. This fall perennial bushy plant produces a mass of double flowers measuring about 2.25” (6 cm) wide. As the flowers mature during late fall, the yellow centers turn to lime-green.

If you are looking for brightly-colored flowers to brighten up your garden in the fall, then ‘Fellowship’ asters are a great choice.

Prof. Anton Kippenberg Asters

prof Anton aster with lilac flowers and yellow center

‘Prof. Anton Kippengberg’ aster has lilac blooms with yellow center

One of the types of asters belonging to the New York species is ‘Prof. Anton Kippengberg.’ These lilac and yellow daisy-type flowers produce a large number of flowers when they bloom in late summer. Their semi-double flowers are in the classic aster star shape and their light lilac colors and yellow disk centers create a beautiful splash of color to a garden in late fall.

Because these New York asters only grow to a height of between 12” and 24” (30 – 60 cm), they are great for planting along borders or in containers.

Other Types of Asters

In addition to the hundreds of aster species belonging to New York and New England cultivars, there are more types of beautiful asters.

Here is a list of some of the most interesting aster cultivars that bloom in the fall.

Nanus Asters (Aster sedifolius)

nanus aster flowers

‘Nanus’ asters have lilac star shaped flowers

‘Nanus’ asters belong to the genus Galatella in the aster family. Unlike most other asters in the family Asteraceae, these asters have just 5 to 10 petals. This gives the flowers a distinct star shape and clusters of them look very attractive when they bloom in the fall. The ‘Nanus’ asters are identified by their elongated lilac petals and bright yellow centers.

This type of low-growing aster will only grow to a maximum of 2 ft. (60 cm) and have a spread of about the same size.

Snow Flurry (Aster ericoides f. prostratum)

snow flurry aster flowers

‘Snow Flurry’ is a low growing aster with small white flowers

Looking at pictures of ‘Snow Flurry’ asters, it is easy to see where they get their name from. These asters produce mass of dainty white flowers grows on these short bushes. In comparison to other asters, ‘Snow Flurry’ asters have small flowers measuring only 0.5” (1 cm) across. Their small petals are arranged in a star shape and they have small pale-yellow round centers.

These attractive perennials seem to be more of a spreading, ground cover plant. They only grow to between 4” and 6” (10 – 15 cm) high but have a spread of up to 24” (60 cm). Plant ‘Snow Flurries’ in a sunny area of your garden if you want a sea of white color in late summer until the end of fall.

King George (Aster amellus)

king George aster flowers

‘King George’ is hybrid in Aster amellus

This fall-blooming purple flower is a hybrid in the Aster amellus range (also called Italian asters). Many people rate ‘King George’ asters as among the best types of asters due to their large violet blossoms and golden yellow centers. The beautiful purple flowers contrast well with the dark green oval-shaped foliage on the bushy plant.

‘King George’ asters will grow to a height of around 24” (60 cm) and have a spread of about the same size.

Rosa Erfullung (Aster amellus)

‘Rosa Erfullung’ asters are stunning when they bloom in fall due to their sprays of brightly colored flowers. These Italian asters are also called ‘Pink Zenith’ and are fast-growing aster species. They have large star-shaped flowers that are bright purple-pink with striking yellow centers.

Sprays of bright flowers provide plenty of color to a garden late in the season. You can expect the aster stems to grow up to 2 ft. (60 cm) tall and have a spread of between 1 and 2 ft. (30 – 60 cm).

Grunder Asters (Aster amellus)

‘Grunder’ asters have blue and yellow flowers and are short in stature. These asters with deep lavender blooms are also called Italian asters or European Michaelmas daisies. Some people say that the flowers have come to mean the departure of a friend.

The flowers on ‘Grunder’ asters have long thin petals in a star shape. The bright yellow centers add a joyful splash of color to a garden. These asters are usually one of the first to bloom from the aster family and continue flowering into late fall. Expect them to grow to a height of between 8” and 20” (20 – 50 cm).

Sapphire (Aster dumosus)

Aster dumosus aster flowers

‘Sapphire’ cultivar is a low-growing aster

‘Sapphire’ aster cultivars are attractive aster flowers with purple petals. Stems on ‘Sapphire’ asters are sturdy and they don’t require stalking. Each spray has a number of fluffy bright lilac-colored flowers with interesting yellow centers. These low-growing asters are great for planting along borders or growing in containers if you want stunning fall colors.

Because these ‘Sapphire’ asters bloom for the whole late summer and fall season, they are great for attracting bees and butterflies in September and October.

‘Monch’ Frikart’s Asters (Aster frikartii)

fricatii aster flowers

Frikart’s asters are among the first asters to bloom

Frikart’s asters produce a mass of beautiful lavender colored flowers in the middle of summer. In fact, they are among the first asters to bloom and continue flowering until the end of the fall. The large starry blossoms grow up to 2” (5 cm) wide have golden-yellow centers.

The sturdy stems grow up to 3 ft. (90 cm) tall and have a spread of the same size. When these perennial asters flower, the dark green bushy plant transforms into a stunning lavender-purple bush. The sturdy stalks and beautiful sprays mean that they are also great for cut flower arrangements or putting in vases.

Little Carlow Asters (Cordifolius Hybrid)

These beautiful daisy flowers are a cross between New York asters and Aster cordifolius. One of the stunning features of these asters is the mass of single flowers on each stem. The star-shaped flowers have lilac-blue petals, bright yellow disk centers, and measure around 1” (2 cm) wide. These aster plants grow to about 3 ft. (90 cm) tall and have a medium spread.

The soft stems and array of beautiful lilac flowers give this aster hybrid a bushy appearance. You can plant the clumping plants in full sun where you want to get bright fall colors at the end of the season.

Symphyotrichum ‘Ochtendgloren’ Asters

When ‘Ochtendgloren’ asters bloom in fall, it is easy to see why their gorgeous flowers have won awards. The long thin pink petals fan out from a bright yellow center to look like the sun’s rays. The starry flowers are so many on the bushy plant that it’s difficult to see the beautiful green foliage.

Ochtendgloren is Dutch for the “dawn.” Looking at its beautiful pink starry flowers, it is easy to see why these are called ‘dawn’ asters.

One of the stunning features of these aster cultivars is their height. The long stems grow to between 4 and 5 ft. (1.2 – 1.5 m) tall and have a spread of up to 3 ft. (0.9 m). When they bloom in the fall, they will brighten up your garden with beautiful shades of pink.

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