Lady in Black Aster

Want to make your flower border come alive in the fall?

Plant something with dark green to purple stems and foliage for drama. Add flowers in the fall and you have a winner!

The horizontal growing, native to northeastern North America,  aster lateriflorus ‘Lady in Black’ creates a stir as its dusky purple leaves appear in spring (a similar cultivar is 'Prince' which grows in clumps).

By the end of summer, thousands of small dark buds dot the 2-3-foot-tall plant, promising an explosion of  tiny white flowers with raspberry-colored centers.The 
flowers appear laterally along one side of the stems, hence, the species name

 photo by Jerry Pavia

This short perennial is hardy, has no serious problems, is deer and rabbit resistant, and its many small flowers are a late-season treat for butterflies.

'Lady in Black'  looks good in containers and is great for cut flowers!
Prefers full sun and 
average to dry, well-drained soil. It is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8, perhaps even colder.  It tolerates heavy soils. Richer soils will generally yield taller plants. Mounds of color begin in September, in a full range of colors. Minimal fertilizing for this beauty.

Pinch stems back in June for bushier plants.  General rule of thumb is to pinch until 4th of July and not after. Pinching yields better branching and more flowers.

It is perfect for native plant gardens and meadow plantings. It is also attractive massed in more formal gardens, or placed along walks.

‘Lady in Black’ combines well with black-eyed susan, red-leaved sedum, Russian sage, ornamental grasses such as red-leaved or blue-leaved switchgrass, interplanted with moor grass, or in front of New York asters.

Try it with the blue Professor Kippenburg Aster...a WOW in the fall!



  1. I am def. going to plant this this year....

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  3. I do have an aster which is blooming now; it is a pink/lavender and my guests rave about it every year. I often share it with my gardening friends but I have never heard of the asters that you mention. I will definitely look into them! Thank you!


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