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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. Ranked #1 in Mt. Cuba Center's aster evaluations.

SIZE
Aster laevis 'Bluebird' - 50 per flat Availability
Aster laevis 'Bluebird' LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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Height

3-4 Feet

Spread

3 ft

Spacing

12 Inches

Bloom Color

Violet

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

smooth aster Interesting Notes

Introduced by Dr. Richard Lighty of the Mt.Cuba Center, Aster laevis ‘Bluebird, now Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird', is the superlative selection of our native smooth blue aster. This tall, vase-shaped wildflower was discovered in a Connecticut garden and became the performing aster in Mt. Cuba's evaluations. It is recognizable for its clusters of large 1" diameter flowers, as clear sky blue as a ski bum's dream. The flowers in combination with its consistently clean foliage make for a very attractive and dependable landscape plant. Unlike the straight species, the form of this plant is upright and rarely requires staking or pinching for it to maintain an attractive habit. 

Symphyotrichum laeve is found native in mesic thickets, dry open woodlands and grasslands. We've observed Symphyotrichum laeve 'Bluebird' thriving in a range of soil moisture conditions and soil types, including dry sites.

Always a perennial pollinator favorite, the Aster family hosts over 109 species of caterpillars.

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.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Songbird-friendly
Songbird-friendly
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Pollinator-friendly
Pollinator-friendly
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Average
Dry
Green Infrastructure
Meadow/Prairie
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Landscape Plug™
Attributes
Native to North America
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Fall
Propagation Type
Vegetative