Symphyotrichum laeve – Smooth Aster – 1.25-Quart
This species is one of the showier asters and an easy one to grow. The blemish-free, bluish-gray foliage provides a backdrop for large violet flowers with golden centers that are carried in a loose panicle atop sturdy stems that almost never need staking. Like all asters, the seeds that birds miss will provide self-sown seedlings here and there around the garden. Drought-tolerant once established. Smooth Aster has one of the most widespread distributions of all the asters, occurring in every state except for Alaska. In New York, it occurs in most parts of the state on dry rocky forested slopes, woodlands, edges of forests, roadsides, occasionally fields, and thickets. Does particularly well in calcareous soils.