In mid-September, New England Aster is a prize winner with butterflies. I have about ten plants and they are all covered with numerous butterflies.
I have two different versions – one is the common native and the other is a new version called Purple Dome. The butterflies don’t seem to prefer one over the other. Purple Dome has a slightly larger yellow center.
The trick to master with this native is to cut it back in the spring at least once and maybe twice or more. This plant can get tallish and have a tendency to flop over in a well fertilized and watered garden setting. I’ve been told by the gardeners at the Missouri Botanical Garden to stop the cutting by July 4th. The pictures above were just taken this afternoon.