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Symphyotrichum laeve (L.) Á. Löve & D. Löve

Smooth blue aster, smooth blue American-aster

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusSymphyotrichumFrom Greek symphysis, “borne together or growing together, coalescing,” and trichinos, “hair, a single hair”
SpecieslaeveLatin laevis, “smooth”

About plant names...

Smooth blue asters are North American natives.

Identification: Plants are 20-39" (50-100 cm) in height. Stems are waxy and smooth, green with a whitish covering, sometimes purple. Leaves are smooth, bluish in color, thick and firm, usually toothless, usually hairless, and clasping. Flowers are bluish to purple (rarely white), ¾-1¼" (1.9-3.2 cm) across, appearing from August to October. Central disc flowers are yellow, aging to purple. There are 13-23 (rarely up to 11-34) rays on each flower. The appear in loose panicles.

Online References:

Symphyotrichum laeve on Ontario Wildflowers

Symphyotrichum laeve on gobotany.newenglandwild.org

Symphyotrichum laeve at Minnesota Wildflowers

Symphyotrichum laeve on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Symphyotrichum laeve at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Symphyotrichum laeve at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Symphyotrichum laeve on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Symphyotrichum laeve on eFloras


Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 20

Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 460

Peterson, Roger Tory, McKenny, Margaret, Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North Central North America, Houghton Mifflin, 1968, p. 356


Symphyotrichum laeve description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster, smooth blue American-aster)

9/19/2013 · Harvard, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 8 × 7" (20 × 18 cm) ID is uncertain

Symphyotrichum laeve (smooth blue aster, smooth blue American-aster)

9/19/2013 · Harvard, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 3-8:

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