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Montana Field Guides

Smooth Blue Aster - Symphyotrichum laeve
Other Names:  Aster laevis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 3

External Links






 
General Description
Perennial from a branched caudex or short rhizomes. Stems erect, 20–80 cm. Herbage glabrous. Leaves cauline, rarely basal, petiolate below, auriculate-clasping above; blades lanceolate to ovate, entire to serrate, 2–15 cm long. Inflorescence leafy-paniculate, open with many heads; peduncles often glaucous, glabrous to puberulent in lines, the bracts clasping. Involucre campanulate, 5–9 mm high; phyllaries linear-lanceolate, imbricate, glabrous, green above with white bases and hyaline margins. Rays 15 to 30, blue; ligules 7–12 mm long. Disk flowers 20 to 30, yellow, turning purplish; corollas 5–7 mm long. Achenes oblong, 2–4 mm long, glabrous (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety geyeri (A.Gray) G.L. Nesom.

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
Throughout North America (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 428

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Moist grasslands, meadows, forest openings, especially along streams, roads or other disturbed areas; plains, valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Ecology
POLLINATORS
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this species or genera where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus bifarius, Bombus borealis, Bombus centralis, Bombus fervidus, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus huntii, Bombus mixtus, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus sylvicola, Bombus ternarius, Bombus terricola, Bombus sitkensis, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus griseocollis, Bombus impatiens, Bombus insularis, Bombus suckleyi, Bombus bohemicus, and Bombus kirbiellus (Plath 1934, Heinrich 1976, Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014, Tripoldi and Szalanski 2015).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Plath, O.E. 1934. Bumblebees and their ways. New York, NY: Macmillan Company. 201 p.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Tripoldi, A.D. and A.L. Szalanski. 2015. The bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus) of Arkansas, fifty years later. Journal of Melittology 50: doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17161/jom.v0i50.4834
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
    • Simanonok, M. 2018. Plant-pollinator network assembly after wildfire. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 123 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Smooth Blue Aster — Symphyotrichum laeve.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from