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(Symphyotrichum laeve)
Smooth Blue Aster

Host Plant: Pearl Crescent (Phycoides tharos), Painted Crescent (Phycoides picta), and moths

Nectar Plant: many insects including other butterflies, bees, and wasps.  Birds and Small mammals eat the seeds.

Flower Color: Blue to Purple

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial

Range in North America: Most of North America except the Arctic region

Exposure: Prefers full sun to partial shade

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Soil Requirements: well-drained soil that is moist and occasionally dry

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Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Purple flowers of smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum laeve).
Flowers of Smooth Blue Aster — Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

Smooth Aster, Smooth-leaved Aster, Glaucous Aster

Description of Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum laeve), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows from 0.5′ to 3′ tall and blooms in the late summer and fall (August to October).  The fruits, which are achenes, mature in the fall.

Hosted Species

Pearl Crescent (Phycoides tharos)

Pearl Crescent on a twig.
Pearl Crescent on twig — ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Painted Crescent (Phyciodes picta)

Other Moths.

Nectar Species

This aster is a nectar species for other insects.  Birds and small mammals enjoy the seeds in the fall.

Habitat

This aster grows in open areas such as fields, meadows, roadsides, and open woods.

Range of Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) in the United States and Canada

Range map of smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum leave) in the United States and Canada.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Symphyotrichum, is from the Greek words for coming together in reference to the anthers.  The species name, laeve, means awkwardly, presumably in reference to the stem.

 

Native Location

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8

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Smooth Blue Aster”

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