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Symphyotrichum laeve

Previously known as:

  • Aster laevis
Phonetic Spelling
sim-fy-oh-TRY-kum LAY-vey
Description

Smooth Aster is a herbaceous perennial in the aster family that is native to central and eastern USA. It is a must-have for the garden due to the late-season blooms and the many pollinators it attracts. The 2-4 feet tall plant is covered in daisy-like purplish-blue flowers in Sept. to late fall.

Asters are easy to grow in well-drained average garden soil in full sun to partial shade and tolerate drought once established. Use in the border, a pollinator garden or naturalized areas. Will self-seed.

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Pollinator Garden- Full Sun Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Pollinator Garden- Full Sun
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bluebird'
'Bluebird'
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#fall color#perennial#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#fall interest#small mammals#specialized bees#herb garden#food source#NC native#native garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source winter#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bluebird'
'Bluebird'
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#fall color#perennial#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#fall interest#small mammals#specialized bees#herb garden#food source#NC native#native garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source winter#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Symphyotrichum
    Species:
    laeve
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & Eastern Canada North Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant for the Pearl Crescent butterfly. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Songbirds and small mammals eat the seeds. Members of the genus Symphyotrichum support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) asteris, Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) asteroides, Andrena (Cnemidandrena) hirticincta, Andrena (Cnemidandrena) nubecula, Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) placata, Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) simplex, and Colletes simulans.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Produces a dry, one-seeded fruit (achene) tipped with red bristles. It displays from October to November
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Many 1/2-1 inch composite violet to blue ray flowers with 15-30 petals and yellow disc flowers in the center. Blooms in early September through late fall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves alternate and are lance to egg-shaped with a smooth margin. The leaves partly encircle the stem. Upper leaves are smaller and closer together with lower leaves being larger and spaced further apart.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Covered with a powdery bloom (glaucous)
    Stem Description:
    Green stems that turn brown with age. Glabrous and sometimes glaucous.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought