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Aster laevis 'Bluebird' (smooth aster)

Aster laevis 'Bluebird'

smooth aster

(syn. Symphyotrichum laeve)

'Bluebird' is a superlative selection of the native smooth aster introduced by Dr. Richard Lighty of the Mt.Cuba Center. This tall, vase-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 in production and in the landscape. Aster laevis is a great source of nectar for migrating monarchs and other late season butterflies.

Aster laevis 'Bluebird' - 50 per flat Availability
Aster laevis 'Bluebird' LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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3-4 Feet


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

smooth aster Interesting Notes

Ranked as the #1 aster in an evaluation study at Mt. Cuba Center, this herbaceous perennial produces abundant, violet blue flowers on 3-4’ tall stems as fall color begins in the surrounding forest. It has attractive, slightly glossy, bluish-green foliage that is virtually pest-free. Bluebird smooth aster thrives in full sun to light shade with a broad tolerance of soil types and moisture levels. It makes an excellent perennial border specimen, meadow component or used in mass plantings. Some good companions include Schizachyrium scopariumAndropogon virginicusRudbeckia fulgidaEutrochium purpureum 'Big Umbrella', Euthamia carolinianaSolidago rugosa 'Fireworks', and Helianthus angustifolius. - Mt. Cuba Center

This smooth aster cultivar is a robust, upright plant with arching stems. Typically grows to 3' tall. Loose panicle-like clusters of 1" diameter asters 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. Kemper Center for Home Gardening

Aster laevis 'Bluebird' Growing and Maintenance Tips

Smooth aster is agreeably tolerant of a range of soils and moisture levels, but it grows best in full sun and average to dry soil. 'Bluebird' will grow and bloom in part shade, but may need support and its blooms will be fewer.

Good Substitutions

stonecrop Sedum 'Vera Jamison'
obedient plant, false dragonhead Physostegia virginiana 'Miss Manners'
Russian sage Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Superba'
Dwarf fountain grass Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Landscape Plug™
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Green Infrastructure
Green Roof
Native to North America
Propagation Type