Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Aster laevis
Smooth blue aster, Smooth blue american-aster
Taxonomy

Synonyms: Symphyotrichum laeve

Subspecific taxa:

Classification:

Other taxonomic & nomenclature sources: USDA PlantsITISThe Plant ListIPNI

Species Distribution
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County Map Legend
Absent:
Not known from county
Medium confidence:
Medium or unknown confidence;
often old records or unverifiable observations
Medium-high confidence:
Often observations by expert botanists
High confidence:
Often vouchered herbarium records
Planted / introduced:
Native species introduced outside historic range,
or only in planted locations within county (e.g., restorations)
Historic / extirpated:
Only historic records for the species; likely extirpated
(Note that this category is not yet functional)

North American distribution maps for this species: FLNAUSDA PlantsBONAPBISON

Collection & Observation Phenology [?]

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F
0
M
0
A
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M
0
J
0
J
0
A
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S
0
O
0
N
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D
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Collection & Observation Timeline [?]

Species Status

Status/Listing: No Information

Notes:

Origin: Native

Species Description

General: Dicot-herb, perennial

Roots: adventitious, rhizomes

Shoots: alternate leaf arrangment; simple leaf type; entire, serrate leaf margin; Pinnate leaf venation; linear, oblong, lanceolate leaf shape

Inflorescence: head

Flowers: perfect, unisexual, monoecious; complete, incomplete, regular, irregular; blue, violet, white; epigynous ovary position

Fruit: achene

Physiology: autotrophic

Ecology & Natural History

Habitat: Species is distributed in rocky, open woods, roadside banks. In northern Illinois, most typically it is found in mesic prairie; prairie remnants, shaded clay bank in open community; moist sandy soil in woods.

ILPIN Notes: Disk florets are perfect and fertile; ray florets are pistillate and fertile. Branched caudex may repalce short, stout rhizome; creeping red rhizomes may be present. Plant is source of many cultivated races of garden asters. Species has silvery-blue or glaucous foliage and stems contrasting with numerous heads of blue and purple rays; showy white-flowered forms are rare. Basal leaves are a source of winter food.

Functional Relationships:

  • Pollinators insects (insect)

Human Relationships:

  • Edibility [?] :
  • Showy Flowers: high

Wildlife and Livestock Information:

  • Food Value:
  • Cover Value:

Coefficient of Conservatism (C-value) [?] :

  • Entire State: 8
  • Chicago Area: 9

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