Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
Asters rank second, after goldenrod, in supporting Lepidoptera (112 butterfly and moth species) according to Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home. This video, filmed at Alexandria’s Simpson Gardens in early October, shows monarch butterflies foraging on asters, including native Symphyotrichum novae-angliae. Asters attract a variety of pollinators unlike non-native chrysanthemums, which are frequently planted for autumn color. So add native asters to your garden. Pollinators, like monarchs who need to fuel up on nectar for their long trip to Mexico, will thank you with their presence.
– video by Mary Free, Certified Master Gardener
Butterflies are attracted to these purple, daisy-like asters that bloom profusely from late summer to early fall. They are native to moist meadows, prairies, and open woods throughout much of North America. In cultivation they are frequently used in wild gardens and tallgrass prairie restorations.
Print Version: Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, New England Aster
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets