Plant types and subtypes: Perennials
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun
Water Use: low
Soil Moisture: dry, moist
Soil Description: acid, neutral, average, loam, clay, gravel/rock
Bloom Time: August, September, October
Bloom Color: purple, lavender, blue
Leaf Color: blue-green
Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts butterflies, colonizing, cottage garden plant, drought tolerant, fall interest, naturalizing, rock garden plant
Pricing & Availability
Symphyotrichum laeveAlso known as:
smooth blue aster,
Symphyotrichum laeve, formerly classified as Aster laevis, is possibly the showiest of all the native blue asters. It grows to a height of 3 feet, and can be easily identified among other asters by its smooth stems and somewhat waxy foliage, hence the common name 'smooth blue aster'. The stems are erect, robust, and divide into branchlets towards the upper part of the plant. The leaves are glabrous (blueish-green), alternate, up to 6" long at the base of the plant, and are gradually smaller as they move up the stem. Each branchlet will bear a multitude of one inch across blue ray flowers with yellow disks. The bloom period lasts about one month, beginning in late summer to early fall.
Smooth blue aster is easy to grow under typical garden conditions, and is very low maintenance. It can be grown in average, well-drained soil and, once established, is very tolerant of dry spells. Its native habitat includes prairies and open woodlands in part-sun to full sun. This is not an aggressive species but, under ideal conditions, it will form clonal colonies via a rhizomatous root systems. Very cold hardy. Zones 3-8
Propagate by clump division in spring, or late fall. Easy to propagate from seed.
Symphyotrichum laeve is an exceptionally attractive species. Why it remains commercially under-utilized is a mystery.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
|Species||Symphyotrichum laeve||smooth blue aster|