Type:Annuals, biennials, perennials, and subshrubs
Pruning tolerance:High

The genus Aster (syn. Diplopappus Cass.) includes some 600 species of widely distributed flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Aster comes from the Greek word for "star", and refers to the shape of the flower head. Many species and a variety of hybrids and varieties are now popular as garden plants because of their showy flower heads.

The genus Aster is now generally restricted to the Old World species, with Aster amellus being the type species of the genus (and of the family Asteraceae). The New World species have now been reclassified in the genera Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus and Symphyotrichum (see : List of Aster synonyms on Wikipedia), but are still widely referred to as "Asters" in the horticultural trade.

In the United Kingdom there are only two native members of the genus of which one, Goldilocks is very rare, the other being the Sea aster, Aster tripolium.



The flowers are heads, borne in generally large terminal clusters. Rays female and strap-shaped, disk flowers perfect, usually yellow. Involcure green and of several rows. The seeds are achenes with a bristly pappus.

The leaves are alternate and simple.



Some common species are:

The China aster is in a related genus, Callistephus.



Asters make good fresh cut flowers. In the garden they are an excellent nectar source for attracting pollinators and beneficial insects.



Division, seed.

Pests and Diseases


Powdery Mildew

  • Erisiphe cichoracearum

Leaf Spots

  • Alternaria
  • Ascochyta compositarium
  • Cercospora asterata
  • Cercospora cana
  • Discosphaerina pseudimantia
  • Leptothyrium doellingeriae
  • Ovularia asteris
  • Ovularia virgaureae
  • Phyllachora asterigens
  • Ramularia asteris
  • Septoria asteris
  • Septoria astericola

Downy Mildew

  • Basidiophora entospora

Gray Mold Wilt

  • Fusarium oxysporum f. callistephi
  • Verticillium

Cankers Rusts

  • Coleosporium solidagnis: Alternate hosts 2/3 needle pines
  • Puccinia asteris: Alternate hosts grasses and sedges
  • Puccinia extensicola var. asteris: Alternate hosts grasses and sedges
  • Puccinia grindeliae: Alternate hosts grasses and sedges
  • Puccinia stipae:
  • Uromyces compactus: Alternate hosts grasses and sedges
  • Uromyces junci: Alternate hosts grasses and sedges

White Smut

Aster Yellows











(w:list of Lepidoptera which feed on Aster) Mites

Slugs and Snails


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  • Ann Fowler Rhoads and Timothy A. Block (2000). The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. Anna Anisko, illustrator. Morris Arboretum, University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 176–188.
  • P. D. Strausbaugh and Earl L. Core (1977). Flora of West Virginia (Second ed.). Seneca Books, Grantsville, W. Virginia. pp. 942–955.
  • Christopher Brickell and Judith D. Zuk (1997). The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. DK Publishing. pp. 148–150.
  • Staff of the L. H. Bailey Hortorium (1976). Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press. pp. 121–125.
  • Pirone, Pascal P. (1978). Diseases & Pests of Ornamental Plants (Fifth Edition ed.). John Wiley & Sons, New York. pp. 146–147. {{cite book}}: |edition= has extra text (help)
  • Cranshaw, Whitney (2004). Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs. Princeton University Press. p. 581.
  • Pippa Greenwood, Andrew Halstead, A.R. Chase, Daniel Gilrein (2000). American Horticultural Society Pests & Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying, and Treating Plant Problems (First Edition ed.). Dorling Kindersley (DK) Publishing, inc. p. 198. {{cite book}}: |edition= has extra text (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)