Ontario Wildflowers website

Smooth Aster
Symphyotrichum laeve
(formerly Aster laevis)

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) Other common names: Glaucous Aster, Smooth Blue Aster, Smooth-leaved Aster

Other scientific names: Aster laevis

French names: Aster lisse

Family: Composite Family (Asteraceae)

Group: Asters

Distinctive features: Very smooth, waxy, almost rubbery leaves. Smooth stem.

Similar species:
  •   New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) - flowers have many more rays, leaves & stem are rough.

  •   Azure Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense) - also has few ray flowers.

  •   Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum) - also may have a purplish stem.

Flowers: Summer, Autumn;  Blue/Violet;  7 or more parts (petals);  2-3cm in diameter. Ray flowers: about 17, pale blue, rarely white. Disc flowers: 24-40, yellow becoming purple. Sparse, open flower head.

Leaves: Alternate, Simple, Entire;  Unique: Smooth, waxy, thick, almost rubbery. Bluish-green, not toothed. Clasping stem a little.

Height: 50-100 cm (19-39 in)

Stem: Waxy, smooth, with a whitish bloom.

Habitat: Fields and Open Areas, Meadows, Moist Meadows;  Open areas, dry or moist.

Grows in Sun/Shade: Sun

Lifespan: Perennial.  

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 460    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 356   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Fairly common.

Notes: This is a fairly easy Aster to identify. The leaves are unique.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: laeve: smooth

Photographs: 201 photographs available, of which 13 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth Aster flower - a typical Aster flower.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

A fly on a Smooth Aster flower.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

This shows the general shape and form of Smooth Aster.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Side view of a flower.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Closeup of a Smooth Aster flower.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth Aster flower in the morning dew.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Typical Smooth Aster leaf.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth, leathery leaves, slightly clasping the smooth stem.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Underside of a leaf.

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Sometimes the stem is very purple, thus leading to confusion with Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum) (although the stems of that plant are usually fuzzy) - always use the leaves to identify Smooth Aster.

Range map for Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)