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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

New England Aster can be variable in terms of its size, color of the flowers, and other characteristics. This plant has attractive flowers with a long blooming period, but it often appears messy by the fall as a result of drought, insects, and disease. It is easy to distinguish this aster from others, because its compound flowers are larger in size and have more numerous ray florets. Return
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Description

This native perennial plant is up to 4' tall, consisting of a central stem that branches occasionally near the top. The central stem and side branches are covered with short white hairs. The alternate leaves are up to 4" long and 1" wide, becoming smaller as they ascend the flowering stems. They are lanceolate or oblong, pubescent, and clasp the stem at the base of each leaf. Their margins are smooth, but ciliate. Clusters of composite flowers occur at the ends of the upper stems. Each composite flower consists of numerous gold or yellow disk florets, which are surrounded by 30 or more ray florets that are purple, lavender, or light pink. Each composite flower is about 1½" across. A mature plant may bear two dozen or more of such flowers, putting forth a showy display. There is no noticeable floral scent. The blooming period occurs from late summer to fall, and lasts about 2 months. The root system consists of a stout caudex with fibrous roots, which often produces short thick rhizomes, enabling this plant to spread vegetatively. The achenes are longitudinally ribbed and slightly hairy, with tufts of hair that enable them to be carried off in the wind.
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Description

General: Aster family (Asteraceae). New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) is a perennial with several erect stems in clumps, stems 0.8 to 2 meters, densely spreading pubescent, thirty or more nodes below the branches of the inflorescence (Radford, Ahles & Bell 1968). The leaves are lanceolate to elliptic lanceolate, two to nine centimeters long and one to two centimeters wide. The disc flowers are yellow, hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees, butterflies, flies, beetles and moths.

Distribution: Aster novae-angliae ranges from Quebec to Alberta, south to North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico (Steyermark 1963). For current distribution, please consult the Plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

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Alternative names

Aster novae-anglia

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

New England Aster occurs throughout Illinois, except in a few southern counties (see Distribution Map). It is a common plant. Habitats include moist to mesic black soil prairies, clay prairies, thickets, moist meadows in woodlands, open areas along rivers and lakes, fens, abandoned fields, open areas along railroads and roadsides, and miscellaneous waste areas. Some populations are probably escapes from cultivated plants. This plant colonizes disturbed areas readily, but it also occurs in high quality habitats.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Adaptation

This plant is commonly found in moist prairies, meadows, roadsides and streams (Dension 1998). It requires well-drained soil and prefers sandy, loamy and clay soils. This species can grow on nutritionally poor soil but prefers rich soil. New England aster grows well in a sunny location and can succeed in partial shade.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Perennials, 30–120 cm, cespitose; with thick, woody, branched caudices, or short, fleshy rhi­zomes, sometimes with woody cormoid portions. Stems 1–5+, erect (stout, light to dark brown, sometimes purplish distally), proximally sparsely to moderately hispiduloso-hirsute or pilose, distally moderately to densely so, stipitate-glandular. Leaves (light to dark green) thin, often stiff, margins entire or sometimes with shallow teeth, ciliate; basal withered or withering by flowering, sessile, blades (3-nerved) usually spatulate, sometimes oblanceolate, 20–60 × 5–15 mm, bases attenuate, apices acute, faces sparsely hirsute; proximal cauline withering by flowering, sessile, blades oblong or lanceolate, 50–100 × 5–15(–20) mm, bases auriculate-clasping, margins entire, pustulate-scabrous, apices acute, mucronulate, faces stipitate-glandular, abaxial thinly strigose, adaxial hirsute or hispidulous; distal sessile, blades oblanceolate, 30–80 × 6–15 mm, gradually reduced distally, bases auriculate-clasping, apices acute to obtuse, mucronate to minutely white-spinulose, faces moderately to densely short-soft-hairy, sparsely to moderately stipitate-glandular. Heads in leafy, often crowded, paniculo-corymbiform arrays. Peduncles dilated distally, 0.3–4 cm, densely short-hairy, stipitate-glandular, bracts 1–4, foliaceous, linear to narrowly lanceolate, densely short-hairy, stipitate-glandular, grading into phyllaries. Involucres campanulate to hemispheric, (5–)7–9(–15) mm. Phyllaries in 3–5(–6) series (dark green to purple-tinged), linear-lanceolate, subequal, outer foliaceous, mid and inner scarious in basal 1 / 3 – 1 / 2 , margins stipitate-glandular, apices long-acuminate to acuminate, spreading to reflexed or squarrose, faces glabrous, outer densely stipitate-glandular. Ray florets (40–)50–75(-100); corollas dark rose to deep purple (pale pink or white), laminae 9–13 × 0.8–1.3 mm. Disc florets 50–110; corollas light yellow becoming purple, (4–)4.5–5.5(–7) mm, tubes ± 1 / 2 narrowly funnelform throats (glabrous or thinly puberulent), lobes triangular, 0.4–0.7 mm. Cypselae dull purple or brown, oblong or obconic, not compressed, 1.8–2.5(–3) × 0.6–1 mm, 7–10-nerved, faces densely sericeous, sparsely stipitate-glandular; pappi tawny (barb tips sometimes rose-tinged), 4.5–6 mm. 2n = 10.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Aster novae-angliae Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 875. 1753; Virgulus novae-angliae (Linnaeus) Reveal & Keener
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

New England Aster occurs throughout Illinois, except in a few southern counties (see Distribution Map). It is a common plant. Habitats include moist to mesic black soil prairies, clay prairies, thickets, moist meadows in woodlands, open areas along rivers and lakes, fens, abandoned fields, open areas along railroads and roadsides, and miscellaneous waste areas. Some populations are probably escapes from cultivated plants. This plant colonizes disturbed areas readily, but it also occurs in high quality habitats.
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Comments: Open, moist to wet, sandy or loamy, rich soils, fields, prairies, meadows, marshy ground, shrubby swamps, fens, shores, thickets, moist edges of woods, roadsides, and railroad rights-of-way (FNA 2006).

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Dispersal

Establishment

Propagation by Seed: Aster novae-angliae seeds should be sown fresh in the fall or spring (Heuser 1997). Pre-chill spring sown seeds to improve germination (Ibid.). When the seedlings are large enough to handle, place them into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Division of this species should be done in the spring or autumn. Large divisions can be planted into their permanent positions whereas smaller clumps should be kept in a cold frame until they are growing well.

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The flowers are visited primarily by long-tongued bees, bee flies, butterflies, and skippers. Short-tongued bees and Syrphid flies also visit the flowers, but they collect pollen primarily and are non-pollinating. Among the long-tongued bees, are such visitors as bumblebees, honeybees, Miner bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. Cross-pollination by these insects is essential, otherwise the seeds will be infertile. The caterpillars of many moths feed on various parts of this and other asters (see Moth Table). Other insects feeding on this plant include Lygus lineolaris (Tarnished Plant Bug), Poccilocapsus lineatus (Four-Lined Plant Bug), Corythuche marmorata (Chrysanthemum Lace Bug), and Macrosiphum euphoriaca (Potato Aphid). The seeds and leaves of this plant are eatened to a limited extent by the Wild Turkey, while deer, livestock, and rabbits occasionally browse on the foliage, sometimes eating the entire plant. However, New England Aster isn't a preferred food source for these animals.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of New England Aster in Illinois

Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)
(Bees collect pollen or suck nectar; flies suck nectar or feed on pollen & are non-pollinating; beetles feed on pollen & are non-pollinating; other insects suck nectar; some observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Graenicher, LaBerge, Krombein et al., and Macior as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn cp (Rb, Gr); Apidae (Bombini): Bombus fervida sn (Mc), Bombus fraternus sn, Bombus impatiens sn (Mc), Bombus griseocallis sn (Rb, Gr), Bombus impatiens sn, Bombus pensylvanica sn cp fq (Rb, Gr), Bombus vagans sn cp (Gr, Mc), Psithyrus citrinus sn (Gr), Psithyrus variabilis sn (Gr); Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp (Rb, Gr); Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Triepeolus helianthi helianthi sn (Gr); Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes agilis sn cp, Melissodes bimaculata bimaculata (LB), Melissodes boltoniae sn cp, Melissodes dentiventris sn cp, Melissodes nivea sn, Melissodes rustica sn cp (Rb, Gr); Anthophoridae (Xylocopini): Xylocopa virginica sn cp (Gr); Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn cp fq, Megachile centuncularis sn cp (Gr), Megachile latimanus sn cp fq (Rb, Gr)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn (Gr), Agapostemon virescens sn (Gr), Halictus ligatus sn, Halictus parallelus sn, Halictus rubicunda sn (Gr), Lasioglossum coreopsis cp np, Lasioglossum versatus cp (Gr); Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes americana cp np; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus modestus modestus sn (Gr); Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena helianthi cp, Andrena simplex cp np olg (Rb, Kr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Heterosarus compositarum cp np

Wasps
Sphecidae (Bembecinae): Bembix americana

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis dimidiatus sn (Rb, Gr), Eristalis flavipes (Gr), Eristalis stipator sn, Eristalis tenax sn fp (Rb, Gr), Eristalis transversus sn (Rb, Gr), Eupeodes americanus fp np, Helophilus fasciatus sn (Rb, Gr), Syritta pipiens (Gr), Syrphus ribesii (Gr), Toxomerus geminatus (Gr), Toxomerus marginatus (Gr), Tropidia mamillata fp np; Bombyliidae: Exoprosopa decora (Gr), Exoprosopa fulvus (Gr), Sparnopolius confusus (Gr); Conopidae: Stylogaster biannulata sn fq; Calliphoridae: Calliphora vicina (Gr); Muscidae: Stomoxys calcitrans (Gr)

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus (Rb, Gr, H), Limenitis archippus (Gr), Phyciodes tharos (Rb, Gr), Vanessa atalanta (Gr), Vanessa cardui, Vanessa virginiensis (Gr); Lycaenidae: Celastrina argiolus (Gr); Pieridae: Colias cesonia, Colias philodice (Rb, Gr, H), Colias eurytheme (H), Pieris rapae (Gr), Pontia protodice; Papilionidae: Papilio polyxenes asterias (Gr)

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Hylephila phyleus, Polites peckius (Rb, Gr)

Moths
Noctuidae: Anagrapha falcifera (Rb, Gr), Helicoverpa zea; Sesiidae: Cisseps fulvicollis (Gr); Spingidae: Hyles lineata (Gr)

Beetles
Chrysomelidae: Diabrotica undecimpunctata fp np (Gr)

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Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Basidiophora entospora parasitises live, yellow then brown leaf of Aster novae-angliae

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Golovinomyces cichoracearum parasitises live Aster novae-angliae

Foodplant / spot causer
amphigenous colony of Ramularia hyphomycetous anamorph of Ramularia asteris causes spots on live leaf of Aster novae-angliae

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 11
Specimens with Barcodes: 15
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Aster novae-angliae

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

Please consult the Plants Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.

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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

Available somewhat through native plant seed sources. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”

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Divisions of Aster novae-angliae species should be done in the spring every three years to maintain vigor (Heuser 1997).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full or partial sun, and moist to average conditions. The soil can contain loam or clay. This plant can become stressed out by hot dry weather, often dropping its lower leaves in response, while the remaining leaves may turn yellow or brown. Another problem is that the stems often flop over in the absence of supportive vegetation. Powdery mildew often afflicts the leaves during the cool, moist weather of the fall. This is an easy plant to grow in moist conditions, but it is more difficult to maintain in good condition throughout the year. Sometimes it becomes aggressive and spreads vegetatively.
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Uses

Ethnobotanic: A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of weak skin (Moerman 1998). A poultice has been used in the treatment of pain, fevers, and diarrhea.

Wildlife: New England aster is known for attracting butterflies and moths to areas where it is found growing. This is a good bee plant providing nectar in the autumn. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predications of rabbits (Thomas 1990).

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Wikipedia

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (L.) G L Nesom. (formerly Aster novae-angliae L.), commonly known as the New England Aster or Michaelmas Daisy, is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to almost every area in North America east of the Rocky Mountains, but excluding the far north of Canada as well as some of the southern United States. Symphyotrichum novae-angliae was introduced to Europe in 1710; [1] a common garden escape, it has naturalized along roadsides and on disturbed ground.

Description[edit]

Bees on Symphyotrichum novae-angliae flowers

The plant grows up to 120 cm (47 inches) with a stout, hairy stem and clasping, lance-shaped leaves with entire margins. The flower heads are showy with yellow disc florets at the center and ray florets that range from a deep purple or rose to rarely white.

This species inhabits a wide variety of habitats and soil types, though it does not tolerate strong shade.

Cultivation[edit]

Owing to its attractive flowers, numerous cultivars have been developed. Moreover, as a result of its increased horticultural popularity, it has been introduced to many areas beyond its natural range, including Europe and several western US states.[2]

Cultivars[edit]

See List of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae cultivars.

Over 70 cultivars of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae have been raised, although only about 50 survive in commerce today. There is less diversity of habit and flower than in novi-belgii, whose cultivars are often derived from hybrids. The novae-angliae cultivars grow to between 90 and 180 cm in height, with the notable exception of 'Purple Dome', at <60 cm. [2]

Collections[edit]

In the United Kingdom, there is one NCCPG national collection of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae.

  • Avondale Nursery, Mill Hill, Baginton, nr. Coventry CV5 6AG. 07979 093096. www.avondalenursery.co.uk

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Symphyotrichum novae-angliae". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  2. ^ Brouillet, Luc; Semple, John C.; Allen, Geraldine A.; Chambers, Kenton L.; Sundberg, Scott D. (2006). "Symphyotrichum novae-angliae". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America 20. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 487. 
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Notes

Comments

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is escaped from cultivation and introduced in Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, and has been reported as an ephemeral escape in British Columbia. It possibly escaped from cultivation elsewhere. The Michaelmas daisy is widely sold in the horticultural trade, where cultivars have been developed. Forms have been described that correspond to color genetic variants within natural populations {Aster novae-angliae forma roseus (Desfontaines) Britton; A. novae-angliae forma geneseensis House}; they are not recognized here.

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae resembles Canadanthus modestus, but the ranges of the two do not overlap, and the latter has sparsely hairy cypselae with dark ribs. Symphyotrichum novae-angliae hybridizes with S. ericoides, forming the F 1 intersectional hybrid S. ×amethystinum.

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