Smooth aster is 20 to 70 cm (8 to 28 inches) tall. Its leaves are arranged alternately on the stems, and their shape varies between lanceolate, oblong-ovate, oblong-obovate, and ovate. They measure from 30 to 200 mm (1 1⁄4 to 7 3⁄4 inches) long and from 10 to 25 mm (3⁄8 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).
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. The whole flowerhead measures 1⁄2 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 cm) across.
Distribution and habitat
Symphyotrichum laeve blooms in late summer and early fall. It is pollinated by many native bees and attracts butterflies. It is a larval host for the pearly crescent butterfly (Phyciodes tharos).
- "Symphyotrichum laeve". Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- "Symphyotrichum laeve". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- "Symphyotrichum laeve". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Brouillet, Luc; Semple, John C.; Allen, Geraldine A.; Chambers, Kenton L.; Sundberg, Scott D. (2006). "Symphyotrichum laeve". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 20. New York and Oxford. Retrieved 30 September 2016 – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
- Hilty, John (2016). "Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)". Illinois Wildflowers. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
- "Symphyotrichum laeve". Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
- "Symphyotrichum laeve". Native Plant Database. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
- "Plant Detail: Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster, smooth aster)". Native Plant Database. Evergreen. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
- Media related to Symphyotrichum laeve at Wikimedia Commons
- Data related to Symphyotrichum laeve at Wikispecies
- Ontario Wildflowers
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