Herb: Bigleaf Aster

Latin name: Aster macrophyllus

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Bigleaf Aster:

The roots have been used as a blood medicine. An infusion of the root has been used to bathe the head to treat headaches. A compound decoction of the roots has been used as a laxative in the treatment of venereal disease.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry to moist open woods, thickets and clearings. By rivers and streams in Britain.

Edible parts of Bigleaf Aster:

Very young leaves - cooked and used as a vegetable. The leaves are said to act as a medicine as well as a food, though no details are given. Only young leaves are eaten as old leaves quickly become tough. Roots - cooked. They have been used in soups.

Other uses of the herb:

Plants can be used as a ground cover in light shade, forming a spreading clump.

Propagation of Bigleaf Aster:

Seed - surface sow in spring in a cold frame. Do not allow the compost to become dry. Pre-chilling the seed for two weeks can improve germination rates. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks at 20C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whist smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry to moist open woods, thickets and clearings. By rivers and streams in Britain.

Known hazards of Aster macrophyllus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.