Symphyotrichum laeve

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Smooth aster
Aster (Blume).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Symphyotrichum
Species: S. laeve
Binomial name
Symphyotrichum laeve
(L.) Á. & D. Löve

Aster laevis

Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster,[1] smooth aster, smooth-leaved aster, glaucous Michaelmas-daisy[2] or glaucous aster) is a flowering plant native to Canada and the United States.[3]


Smooth aster is 20 to 70 cm (8 to 28 inches) tall.[4] Its leaves are arranged alternately on the stems, and their shape varies between lanceolate, oblong-ovate, oblong-obovate, and ovate.[5] They measure from 30 to 200 mm (1 14 to 7 34 inches) long and from 10 to 25 mm (38 to 1 inch) wide. They are usually hairless, and the leaf edges are entire or bluntly or sharply toothed (crenate or serrate), sometimes with smaller teeth (serrulate).[4]

The flower heads are arranged in clusters (panicles). Each flower head has 13 to 23 ray florets with pale to dark blue or purple petals (laminae), and 19 to 33 disc florets that start out yellow and eventually turn purplish-red.[4] The whole flowerhead measures 12 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 cm) across.[5]

The seeds are achenes with bristles at their tips (cypselae). Like the hairs on dandelion seeds, the bristles allow the seeds to be spread by the wind.[5]


There are four varieties: S. laeve var. laeve, S. laeve var. geyeri, S. laeve var. concinnum, and S. laeve var. purpuratum.[4]


Symphyotrichum laeve is found throughout North America.[6] It is found naturally occurring in fields, open woods and along roadsides.[7] It grows in rocky or dry soil in full sun.[6]


Symphyotrichum laeve blooms in late summer and early fall. It is pollinated by many native bees[7] and attracts butterflies.[6] Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve 'Bluebird' is a larval host for the pearly crescent butterfly (Phyciodes tharos).[8][9]


  1. ^ "Symphyotrichum laeve". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 6 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007" (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  3. ^ "Symphyotrichum laeve". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
  4. ^ a b c d Brouillet, Luc; Semple, John C.; Allen, Geraldine A.; Chambers, Kenton L.; Sundberg, Scott D. "Symphyotrichum laeve". Flora of North America (FNA). Missouri Botanical Garden. 20. Retrieved 30 September 2016 – via 
  5. ^ a b c Hilty, John (2016). "Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)". Illinois Wildflowers. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c "Symphyotrichum laeve - Plant Finder". Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  7. ^ a b "Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin". Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  8. ^ "Mt. Cuba Center Inc: Login to the site" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  9. ^ "Plant Detail: Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster, smooth aster)". Retrieved 2017-01-27. 

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