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A wonderful landscape ornamental or addition to the rain garden. Attracts butterflies.

A wonderful landscape ornamental or addition to the rain garden. Attracts butterflies. USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (, 5 October 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'

New England aster

Native to North America (cultivar)


FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ is a compact mounding selection of our native New England aster.  During spring and summer, plants are clothed in healthy pubescent gray-green leaves.  In fall foliage disappears beneath a starry mantle of royal purple daisies. Plants are tough and adaptable to moist sunny sites in a variety of garden situations. This cultivar is known for its compact habit, disease resistance and eye-popping flower display

HABITAT & HARDINESS:  Aster novae-angliae occurs in almost every state or province of North America.

Habitats include moist prairies, Black Belt prairies, moist meadows, open woodlands, creek or river banks, chalk or clay embankments, roadsides and other disturbed areas. 

Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ was selected by Dr. Richard Lighty, retired Director of Delaware’s Mt. Cuba Center.  

Plants are hardy from USDA Zones 3-8.

PLANT DESCRIPTION:  Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ is densely branched spreading perennial.  Plants form low mounding colonies from underground rhizomes.

Leaves are lance shaped, pubescent and a soothing gray-green color.

This cultivar produces larger flower heads in greater numbers than its parent.  Each head consists of a ring of 40 or more deep purple ray flowers that surround a central cluster of golden disc florets.

The flowers provide a valuable late season nectar source for migrating Monarch butterflies.  Blooms are also visited by other butterflies, skippers and bees.

Plants grow 2’ tall with 2’ spread.

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS:  Culture is easy in sunny sites with clay, moist well drained soil, or alkaline soil.

This is a disease resistant cultivar.  To maintain this status, divide plants every 3 years in early spring.

To prevent powdery mildew disease give plants good growing conditions and space for air circulation.  Locate this aster in plenty of sun, irrigate during drought and limit overcrowding by using appropriate spacing for companion plants. 

Plants are fairly unpalatable to browsing deer and rabbits though some nibbling may occur when tender growth is present.

LANDSCAPE USES:  Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ is a particularly showy aster that can be used in gardens as a sustainable substitute for fall chrysanthemums.  This is also a good choice for a Wildlife Garden, Edging or Groundcover.  Plants are useful as Butterfly Nectar Plants or as part of a Grouping or Mass Planting.   Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ has Showy Blooms and can be used in Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings or Perennial Borders.

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS:  Try pairing Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ with Asclepias tuberosa, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’, Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’, Solidago sphacelata ‘Golden Fleece’, Liatris spicata and Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’.. 

Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’ has similar height, flower color and habitat needs and can be substituted if needed

TRIVIA:  Many of the established Latin names of Aster spp. were changed recently due to DNA and genetic research findings. So Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ is now known as Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome.

Plants host caterpillars of several different moths.

Over 50 cultivars of New England Aster have been introduced.  Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ is among the most compact.


2 ft


2-3 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone:


Bloom Color:


Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome' Characteristics

Attracts Wildlife

  • Butterflies


  • Dried Flower
  • Cut Flower


  • Full Sun to Partial Shade

Deer Resistant

  • Deer Resistant

Flowering Months

  • October
  • September
  • August

Foliage Color

  • Green

Juglans nigra Tolerance (Black Walnut)

  • Yes

Salt Tolerance

  • Medium

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Moist

Interesting Notes:

AKA Symphyotrichum n.a. 'Purple Dome'

Plants that work well with Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'

Creeping goldenrod (No Advance Orders) Creeping goldenrod (No Advance Orders) (Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece')
Wrinkle-leaf goldenrod Wrinkle-leaf goldenrod (Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks')
Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm')
Rocky Mountain blazing star Rocky Mountain blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis)

Substitutions for Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'

New England aster New England aster (Aster novae-angliae)