Aster plants


aster patensaster tripolium
Aster patensAster tripolium

Genus Aster

The Aster genus (Aster spp. L.) comprises about 200 species of plants in the Compositae plant family, the same family to which sunflowers, daisies, and chicory belong.

They are plants native to Eurasia and North America. In the 1990s it was discovered that many North American Aster species actually belonged to other botanical genera.

Etymologically, Aster comes from the Greek term aster, which means star, referring to the shape of their inflorescences. This name was given in 1735 by Charles Linnaeus, although this genus of plants was well known since ancient times.

Many of these plants are used in gardening as ornamental plants, due to the beautiful shape and varieties of colors that these plants offer. They are rustic plants that adapt to all types of climates, and are easy to grow in general.

This type of plants, similar to the common daisy (Bellis perennis), are called in gardening “Michaelmas daisies”. There are spring, summer and autumn varieties.

In biology, these plants are important because they are commonly attacked by Lepidoptera.

Aster characteristics

Aster plants are generally perennial or biennial, with herbaceous stems and rarely shrubby plants. Their roots can be rhizomatous.

aster grandiflorus
Aster grandiflorus

The leaves can have different shapes and sizes: spatulate, tomentose, broad, lanceolate and different shades of green, depending on the species.

The inflorescence of these plants is typical of compositae plants and is called capitulum or flower head. This type of inflorescence is composed of dozens or hundreds of tiny flowers.

The capitulum or flower head has radiate flowers, that is, hermaphroditic tubular flowers, yellow or golden in color in the center of the disc floret, and on the periphery of the disc floret there are ray florets with ligules of varied colors, which look like petals.

The fruit is an achene with a formed pappus.

Aster species

The most common species are:

  • Aster alpinus or Alpinus aster
  • Aster amellus or Italian aster
  • Aster linosyris
  • Aster grandiflorus
  • Aster subulatus
  • Aster tataricus
  • Aster tongolensis
  • Aster tripolium

The aster used for indoor planting corresponds to an annual plant of the genus Callistephus. It is known as China Aster (Callistephus chinensis).

Botanical Classification of Aster

Botanical classification

Vascular plants


Seed plants


Flowering plants



FamilyAsteraceae or Compositae

punto rojo More information on Aster plants

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

10 June, 2024

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