Fall blooming asters are only one of the many daisy-type flowers that bloom in the fall.

Autumn Blooming Daisy Types

by Elisabeth Ginsburg

Daisies mean summer to many people, when Shastas (Leucanthemum x superbum), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 and coneflowers (Echinacea spp.), generally hardy in USDA zone 3 through 9, stand tall. But fall is a great time for other daisy-type flowers as well, with false aster, (Boltonia spp.), asters (Aster and Symphyotrichum spp.), sneezeweed (Helenium spp) and chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum spp.) filling the garden with color.

False Aster

A dead ringer for its better known daisy family relatives, false aster (Boltonia asteroides), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 10, features small daisy flowers in shades of white, pink, purple and blue. Some varieties can grow up to 5 or 6 feet tall, preferring uniformly moist situations and full sun. Generally, false aster blooms a week or two before the true asters. Some varieties, like the pink-flowered "Pink Beauty" (Boltonia asteroides "Pink Beauty"), hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9, are somewhat shorter at 3 to 5 feet and can be successfully grown in large containers.


Tall New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, formerly known as Aster novae-angliae) stands 3 to 6 feet tall. Hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8, the species features purple flowers. Shorter New York asters (Symphyotrichum novae-belgii), hardy in zones 4 through 8, stand 12 to 18 inches tall, suitable for containers or borders. Plant breeders have produced varieties of both New England and New York asters in variations of the standard aster colors--pink, white, blue and blue-purple. Pink flowered "Andenken an Alma Potschke", usually shortened to "Alma Potschke" (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae "Andenken an Alma Potschke") is a popular New England variety.


Available in an array of colors, sizes and flower forms, chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum hybrids and varieties) are staples of the fall garden. All are members of the daisy family, but some have more recognizable daisy-like flowers. Among those types is "Hillside Sheffield Pink," often sold as "Sheffield Pink" (Chrysanthemum "Hillside Sheffield Pink"), hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9. "Sheffield Pink" bears apricot-pink single flowers and stands 2 to 3 feet tall. Another single variety, "Apollo" (Chrysanthemum "Apollo"), features dark red buds and single bronze flowers. "Apollo" is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9.


Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) is less familiar thanasters or chrysanthemums, but offers great daisy lookalikes in late summer and early fall. Breeders have produced varieties like red-orange "Moerheim Beauty" (Helenium "Moerheim Beauty"), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8 and standing about 3 feet tall. "Feuersiegel" (Helenium 'Feuersiegel"), also hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8, features tawny gold petals, banded at the flowers' centers with burnt orange. The plants stand about 3 feet tall. Sneezeweed should never be ingested, as it may cause gastric distress. Contact with the leaves may also irritate sensitive skin.

About the Author

Elisabeth Ginsburg, a writer with over 20 years' experience, earned an M.A. from Northwestern University and has done advanced study in horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. Her work has been published in the "New York Times," "Christian Science Monitor," "Horticulture Magazine" and other national and regional publications.

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