Common Purple Asters – Learn About Types Of Purple Aster Flowers
By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Asters are one of the late season’s standout flowers. These flowers come in numerous colors and sizes but the purple aster varieties have regal intensity and provide particularly impactful landscape color. Continue reading for a list of the best purple aster flowers for the garden.
Why Use Asters That are Purple?
While purple asters have several different tones, their cool hue sets off numerous other colors. When paired with yellow flowers, the effect is absolutely stunning with the sunny tone blending with the stormy sky hue. When you plant different types of purple aster in a grouping, the effect is jaw dropping.
Since purple is one of the “cool colors” on the color wheel, it is supposed to relax you. That makes purple aster flowers an excellent choice for a meditation garden or just a quiet corner of the yard that needs a calming influence. In addition to color selection, asters come in several specific niche varieties, and each has its own characteristics to add to the elegant flowers.
- Aromatic asters
- Calico asters
- Heart Leaf asters
- Alpine asters
- Heath asters
- Smooth asters
- Wood asters
Small Purple Aster Varieties
Asters range from 8 inches (20 cm.) to 8 feet (2 m.) tall. The little guys are perfect for containers, borders and planted en masse. Some of the cutest dwarf varieties have compact form but still pack a powerful purple punch. These shorter purple asters are generally in the New York aster group and include:
- Wood’s Purple – Semi-double purple flowers with yellow centers
- Purple Dome – Lavender-purple. Plant forms a small dome or mound
- Professor Anton Kippenberg – Deeply blue-purple, long-lasting blooms
- Alpine – Early bloomer
- Lady in Blue – Sweet light purplish blue blooms
- Raydon’s Favorite – Fragrant foliage
Tall Asters That are Purple
There are over 200 species commonly sold in the U.S. with more than 400 available in the U.K. The statuesque types of purple aster lend themselves to the backs of perennial beds, containers and as stand-alone specimens.
- Tartarian Aster – Lush and thick plant with violet blooms
- Hella Lacy – Up to 60 inches tall (152 cm.)
- Bluebird Smooth – A classic purple with yellow centers
- October Skies – An aromatic aster with small lavender flowers
- Short’s Aster – Airy foliage and delicate light purple flowers
- Eventide – Semi-double blooms
A really spectacular architectural specimen is the Climbing aster. It doesn’t really climb but has extremely long stems that grow up to 12 feet (3.6 m.). This extreme aster has purplish pink flowers. It can look spindly over time unless cropped at the end of the season.
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Stokes' aster flowers are normally blue-lilac, but cultivars are available in deep blue, purple, rosy-pink, silvery-white, or even yellow. Flowers can grow to be as large as four inches across and bloom on and off starting in spring.
The cultivar 'Color Wheel' adds variable interest with flowers that change from white to purple throughout the day. 'Klaus Jelitto' and 'Peachie's Pick' produce lovely blue flowers, while 'Blue Danube' has blue flowers with white centers. 'Purple Parasols' and 'Honeyray Purple' dazzle with lovely violet blooms. 'Alba' and 'Silver Moon' shine with white blooms and 'Mary Gregory' produces soft yellow flowers.
Not only are the flowers a beautiful addition to your landscape, their nectar attracts pollinators like butterflies and bees. Stokes' aster does best in zones 8 through 9A. These perennial flowers work wonderfully as borders or grown in containers. They can also serve as a lovely part of a wildflower, butterfly, or cut flower garden. When used as cut flowers, Stoke' aster will hold up for about a week after cutting.
Reasons to Plant
- They can be planted in both partial shade and full sun.
- They are low maintenance plants and don't require a lot of water.
- The different varieties grow to be different sizes. Some are only 12" tall. Others can grow up to 4'.
- Different colors are available. The most common color is lavender to purple. You can also find white, red, and pink.
- Butterflies and bees like them.
- The plants are hardy in all but the coldest regions of the US.
- Most varieties bloom later in the summer when most of the other perennials are finished.
How to Grow and Care for Early-Blooming Alpine Aster
The alpine aster is a low-profile, cold-weather perennial for USDA hardiness zones 4 to 7. It’s an early-blooming species that flowers from late spring through early summer. Perfectly suited to rock gardens, its flowers are pink, purple, or white. Learn how to grow and care for alpine aster, here on Gardener’s Path.