Symphyotrichum laeve (L.) A.Löve & D.Löve
Family: Asteraceae
smooth aster, smooth blue aster
Symphyotrichum laeve image
Merel R. Black  
Etymology: Aster: from the Greek aster, "a star," describing the radiate heads of the flowers
Plants: erect, perennial, 1'-3' tall, usually hairless, waxy forb; stems reddish; usually from short rhizomes
Leaves: mostly along the stem, thick, stiff, larger leaves less than 5 times as long as wide, stalkless to claspingleaf drawing
Flowers: head 2/3"-1" wide with 15-30 blue to purple rays, bracts (phyllaries) with a long, dark-green tip; inflorescence with a few to many heads in open clusters; blooms Aug.-Oct.
Fruits: dry, smooth seed often with a reddish, fluffy pappus
Habitat: full to partial sun; dry to moderate moisture; prairies, woods; in sandy, loamy soil
Conservation Status: Native