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Symphyotrichum laeve

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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

Height: 1'-3'

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

Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster)
  • Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster)
  • Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster)
  • Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster)

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Description

Symphyotrichum laeve

Also known as:

smooth blue aster

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

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.

Cultivation

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

Propagation

Propagate by clump division in spring, or late fall. Easy to propagate from seed.

Additional Notes

Symphyotrichum laeve is an exceptionally attractive species. Why it remains commercially under-utilized is a mystery.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
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

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Arecidae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae Aster family
Genus Symphyotrichum aster
Species Symphyotrichum laeve smooth blue aster