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Aster laevis 'Bluebird'

Smooth Aster / Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird'

'Bluebird' is a fantastic selection of the native Smooth Aster introduced by Dr. Richard Lighty of the Mt.Cuba Center. This tall vased-shaped wildflower has large 1" diameter blue flowers held in cloud-like clusters at the tips of the arching branches. You can pinch back the young shoots in June for denser habit and more flowers, but it is not essential. Staking is helpful by late summer if you forget to pinch. Perfectly clean foliage makes for easy maintenance. Aster laevis is a great source of nectar for migrating monarchs and other late season butterflies.


Benefits

Attracts butterflies and a variety of native bees
Drought tolerant
Clean foliage all season
Does not need to be staked

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Will grow in a range of soils and moisture levels. Does best in full sun in average to dry soil. Will grow and bloom in part shade, but may need some support. You can pinch back the young shoots in June for denser habit and more flowers, but it is not essential.


Height
3-4 ft

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Spread
24-30 Inches

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

Native Range

Fields, dry woods and prairies; Quebec to British Columbia south to New Mexico and Georgia.

Distribution Maps by State and County

Native Trivia

Plant several different types of Asters such as Smooth Aster (Aster laevis) and New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) because they bloom at different times. You'll enjoy the butterflies for weeks longer that way.


"Asters are a great source of nectar for migrating monarchs and other late season butterflies."

Good Companions
Nevius Stonecrop (Sedum nevii), Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana), Prairie Glow Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Medium Perennials
Medium to Tall Perennials
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Sun
Soil
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Bloom Time
Fall
Late Summer
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Native Habitat
Forest
Grassland
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Border
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Mass plant
Meadow
Naturalizes
Native to
Alabama
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Kentucky
Maryland
Mississippi
New York
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia