Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird'
Common Name: smooth aster 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: Violet blue rays with yellow center
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Good drought tolerance. Pinch back stems 1-2 times before mid-summer to control height and increase branching. Readily self-seeds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Symphyotrichum laeve, commonly called smooth aster, is a Missouri native that typically occurs in prairies, rocky glades, dry open woods, roadside banks and thickets. Stems are usually unbranched with variable, mostly toothed, smooth, bluish green foliage. Small flowers (.75 to 1.25" across) with violet blue to purple (sometimes white) rays and yellow center disks appear in open, loose, panicle-like clusters in autumn. Attractive to butterflies.

Genus name comes from the Greek symph meaning coming together and trich meaning hair in possible reference to the flower anthers.

Specific epithet means smooth.

'Bluebird' is a robust, upright plant with arching stems. Typically grows 3-4' tall. Loose panicle-like clusters of 1" diameter flowers with violet blue rays and yellow centers cover the upper parts of this plant in a profuse September-October bloom. Smooth, mostly toothless, blue-green foliage (to 4" long). Attractive to butterflies. Species is a Missouri native.


No serious insect or disease problems. Excellent mildew resistance. Rarely needs staking.


Borders, cottage gardens, meadows.