Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sticky Aster, Purple Tansy Aster, Bigelow's Tansy Aster
Machaeranthera bigelovii

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Machaeranthera (mak-ee-RANTH-er-uh) (Info)
Species: bigelovii (big-eh-LOV-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Aster bigelovii
Synonym:Machaeranthera bigelovii var. bigelovii


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Click thumbnail
to view:

By pajaritomt
Thumbnail #1 of Machaeranthera bigelovii by pajaritomt

By pajaritomt
Thumbnail #2 of Machaeranthera bigelovii by pajaritomt

By roybird
Thumbnail #3 of Machaeranthera bigelovii by roybird


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive pajaritomt On Oct 2, 2008, pajaritomt from Los Alamos, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:

This lovely wild flower blooms in the fall. It covers fields all over New Mexico and is even used in the landscaping of wild areas. It blooms at the same time as Chamisa and other yellow and gold plants to make a stunning display all over the countryside.

Positive melody On Feb 13, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

These are late Summer wildflowers that color entire banks and roadsides in some areas. Found in plains areas and in openings in confiferous forests.

It's range is western CO south to NM and AZ.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Los Alamos, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
South Boston, Virginia

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