Aster alpinus (Alpine aster)

Aster alpinus (Alpine aster)Aster alpinus (Alpine aster) Aka Aster Species, Alpine Aster, or Wild Aster, is an ornamental plant native to the mountains of Europe (including the Alps), with a subspecies native to Canada and the United States. It is a perennial forb (a forb  is a herbaceous flowering plant that is not a graminoid and its name is derived from Greek (phorbḗ) meaning “pasture” or “fodder”(grasses, sedges and rushes)). The plant belongs to the genus Aster, and the Asteraceae family.

Aster‘Aster’ comes from Latin ‘astrum’, meaning star. ‘Alpinus’ and alpine refers to the Alps, an European mountain range, although Aster Alpinus is also North American. USDA hardiness zones are from 3-8, as it does better in generally cooler climates. In Canadian provinces, towards eastern North America, the species is critically imperiled. However, in both Canadian provinces and US states, at north-western and southern parts, the species is apparently secure (see USDA map in the link below).

Alpine asters(Shot at f/2.8) There is Aster amellus (European Michaelmas-daisy, Italian Aster) which is the largest (7.9–19.7 in), and is considered European and Asian, and the one shown here, the Aster alpinus (Alpine aster), which is both European and North American,  growing to about 6–12 inches. Read more about how all these different Asters relate here.

Aster alpinusAster alpinus L., Botanical Magazine, t. 181-216, vol. 6: t. 199 (1793) [n.a.]

Italian asterAster amellus L., Italian aster, Botanical Register, vol. 4: t. 340 (1818) [S. Edwards]



26 thoughts on “Aster alpinus (Alpine aster)

  1. What fun it was to open your page and find a “cousin” to the wild ones I saw on my trip. Some of them I haven’t identified yet; the small white and lavender ones are hard. But the larger purple ones are a little easier to identify, and so pretty. There were asters blooming everywhere I went, except for far western Kansas. They make autumn even more of a treat. I love the way you’ve photographed these. They really do seem to glow.


    • Thanks! Apparently there are different sizes and I was eager to make a post on them. I’m glad you liked them. Of course, seeing them growing wild is the best experience. They are anything but tropical, but I was interested in them anyway.


  2. I love love love this Maria. I wanted to get to it when I saw the snippet on your blog about it! I had one of these in my front flower bed and it died from the cold cold winter and too hot summers….but it attracted so many butterflies. I love this vivid purpled color! ❤


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