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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Smooth Blue Aster - Symphyotrichum laeve
Other Names:  Aster laevis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
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


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: 417

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



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

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).

  • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Smooth Blue Aster — Symphyotrichum laeve.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from