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Confused Michaelmas Daisy

Aster novibelgii

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Fens, fields, gardens, hedgerows, meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, seaside, wasteland, waterside.

Variable in colour, many petals
The daisy-like flowers appear in clusters and range in colour from pale pink to dark purple. The centre of the flower is yellow. The flower bracts are widest in the middle.
The fruit of Aster novi-belgii is an achene. Achene is a small, dry, one-seeded fruit, typically with a hard, thin wall, and it does not split open when it matures. The achene of Aster novi-belgii is often dispersed by the wind or other means, helping the plant to reproduce.
A clump-forming perennial with smooth, mid-green, lance-shaped leaves. The leaves are slightly broader than the Common Michaelmas Daisy (Aster x salignus) and they clasp the stem.
Aster novi-belgii is known for its subtle, sweet fragrance. The blooms of this plant release a delicate, pleasant scent, which can attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden.
Other Names:
New York Aster.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Aster novi-belgii, also known as New York aster or Michaelmas daisy, is a species of perennial plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to North America and typically found growing in wetland areas, such as along the edges of streams and ponds. The plant typically grows to a height of 1 meter and produces showy, daisy-like flowers with yellow or orange centers and purple or blue petals. The leaves are long and narrow, and they are arranged alternately on the stem. The plant blooms late in the season, from late summer to early fall, and it is a popular ornamental plant, often used in gardens and landscaping for its attractive flowers. The cultivars of this species are available in many different colors and sizes. They are also popular as cut flowers.


Michaelmas daisies are a group of perennial flowering plants that are native to North America and Europe. They are often grown for their attractive blooms, which come in shades of pink, purple, blue, and white. Among the different varieties of Michaelmas daisies, one that stands out is the Confused Michaelmas Daisy.

The Confused Michaelmas Daisy, also known as Aster confusus, is a herbaceous plant that typically grows up to 3 feet tall. It has a bushy habit and produces masses of small, daisy-like flowers in late summer and autumn. The flowers are usually lavender-blue or purple, and they have yellow centers that are surrounded by a ring of white petals. The leaves of the Confused Michaelmas Daisy are lance-shaped, and they are arranged in a whorled pattern along the stems.

Despite its name, the Confused Michaelmas Daisy is not actually confused. The name comes from the fact that it is often confused with other Michaelmas daisies, such as the New England Aster and the Heath Aster. In fact, the Confused Michaelmas Daisy is a distinct species in its own right, and it has some unique characteristics that set it apart from its close relatives.

One of the most notable features of the Confused Michaelmas Daisy is its long blooming period. Unlike many other Michaelmas daisies, which only bloom for a few weeks in the autumn, the Confused Michaelmas Daisy can bloom for up to two months. This makes it a great choice for gardeners who want to extend the flowering season in their gardens.

Another advantage of the Confused Michaelmas Daisy is its tolerance for a wide range of growing conditions. It can thrive in full sun or partial shade, and it can tolerate a variety of soil types, including clay and sandy soils. It is also relatively drought-tolerant, making it a good choice for areas with dry summers.

If you're thinking about adding the Confused Michaelmas Daisy to your garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is a vigorous plant that can spread quickly if not kept in check. This means that you may need to divide it every few years to keep it from taking over your garden. Second, it is susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that can cause the leaves to turn yellow and brown. To prevent powdery mildew, make sure to plant your Confused Michaelmas Daisy in a location with good air circulation, and avoid overhead watering.

In addition to its attractive blooms and ease of cultivation, the Confused Michaelmas Daisy also has some ecological benefits. Its flowers are an important source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators in the late summer and early autumn when other flowers may be scarce. This makes it a great addition to a pollinator garden or any garden designed to attract wildlife.

The Confused Michaelmas Daisy is also deer-resistant, which is good news for gardeners who live in areas where deer are a problem. Deer tend to avoid plants with a strong fragrance or bitter taste, and the Confused Michaelmas Daisy fits the bill. This means that you can enjoy its beauty without worrying about it being devoured by deer.

Another interesting fact about the Confused Michaelmas Daisy is that it has been used for medicinal purposes by Native American tribes. The Cherokee, for example, used a tea made from the roots of the plant to treat diarrhea, while the Navajo used a decoction of the leaves and flowers to treat earaches. While there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses, it is clear that the plant has been valued for its healing properties for centuries.

In terms of landscaping, the Confused Michaelmas Daisy is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of settings. It looks great in mixed borders, mass plantings, and naturalized areas. Its bushy habit also makes it a good choice for filling in gaps in the garden or creating a focal point. It combines well with other late-blooming perennials, such as sedum, goldenrod, and Joe-Pye weed, to create a dynamic and colorful garden design.

One interesting aspect of the Confused Michaelmas Daisy is its history and taxonomy. The plant was first described by the Scottish botanist George Don in 1834, who named it Aster confusus. However, the plant was later reclassified as Symphyotrichum confusum in 2006, as part of a taxonomic revision of the Aster genus.

This taxonomic revision was based on molecular studies that showed that the Aster genus was not monophyletic, meaning that it did not represent a single evolutionary lineage. Instead, it was split into several new genera, including Symphyotrichum, which encompasses many of the former Aster species.

While the taxonomic status of the Confused Michaelmas Daisy may seem like a minor detail, it reflects the ongoing process of scientific inquiry and discovery. As scientists learn more about the relationships between different species, they are able to refine and improve our understanding of the natural world.

Finally, it's worth noting that the Confused Michaelmas Daisy has a rich cultural and symbolic history as well. In the language of flowers, which was popular in Victorian England, the Michaelmas Daisy was associated with love, prosperity, and good fortune. It was also thought to be a symbol of remembrance and consolation, and was often included in funeral wreaths and other mourning arrangements.

Today, the Michaelmas Daisy continues to be a beloved plant for gardeners and nature lovers around the world. Whether you appreciate it for its beauty, ecological benefits, medicinal properties, or symbolic significance, there's no denying that the Confused Michaelmas Daisy is a fascinating and worthwhile addition to any garden.

30 Confused Michaelmas Daisy Facts

Aster novi-belgii, commonly known as New York Aster or Confused Michaelmas Daisy, is a perennial plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Here are 30 facts about Aster novi-belgii:

  1. Aster novi-belgii is native to North America, specifically the northeastern United States.

  2. It is named after the Belgian botanist and physician J.F. Van Eeden, who introduced the plant to Europe in the 18th century.

  3. The common name "Michaelmas Daisy" comes from the tradition of blooming around the time of the feast of St. Michael (September 29).

  4. These asters are known for their profuse and colorful flowering, typically in shades of purple, blue, pink, and white.

  5. The flowers have a daisy-like appearance with a yellow center and numerous petals.

  6. Aster novi-belgii is a hardy perennial and is well-suited for gardens and landscapes.

  7. This plant prefers full sun to partial shade for optimal growth.

  8. It has a clumping growth habit, with stems reaching heights of 2 to 4 feet.

  9. The leaves are lance-shaped and have a rough texture.

  10. Aster novi-belgii blooms in late summer and early fall.

  11. The flowers attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, with their nectar.

  12. There are numerous cultivated varieties and hybrids of Aster novi-belgii, each with its unique flower color and growth habit.

  13. It is considered an excellent cut flower for floral arrangements.

  14. Michaelmas Daisies can spread via rhizomes, forming dense colonies over time.

  15. These asters are prone to powdery mildew, so good air circulation is essential.

  16. They are often used in butterfly gardens due to their attractiveness to pollinators.

  17. Aster novi-belgii is a vital late-season food source for native wildlife.

  18. Some cultivars of New York Aster are more compact and suitable for smaller gardens.

  19. The plant requires well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

  20. In addition to its ornamental value, this aster has been used in traditional herbal medicine for various purposes.

  21. It is deer-resistant, making it suitable for gardens in areas with deer populations.

  22. The plant can tolerate a range of soil types but thrives in moist, loamy soils.

  23. The name "Aster" is derived from the Greek word for "star," which is a reference to the flower's shape.

  24. Aster novi-belgii may require staking to support its tall stems in windy conditions.

  25. These asters are often propagated through division or by taking stem cuttings.

  26. They can serve as a backdrop for other late-season flowering plants in the garden.

  27. Aster novi-belgii is an excellent addition to prairie and meadow-style landscapes.

  28. This species is closely related to other aster species, including Aster novae-angliae and Aster lanceolatus.

  29. In cultivation, they benefit from regular deadheading to encourage continuous flowering.

  30. While Aster novi-belgii is generally hardy, it's a good practice to mulch around the base of the plant in colder climates to protect the roots during winter.

Keep in mind that specific characteristics and care requirements may vary among different cultivars of Aster novi-belgii, so it's essential to research the specific variety you are growing for precise care instructions.


Video 1: Confused Michaelmas Daisies filmed at the following locations:
  • Wigan, Lancashire: 7th August 2023
  • Ainsdale, Lancashire: 10th September 2023

Video 2: Confused Michaelmas Daisies filmed at Hightown in Lancashire on the 23rd September 2023.


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Distribution Map

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