SMOOTH ASTER
File Size: 79 KB
 
Symphyotrichum laeve   (L. ) A. Löve
[=Aster laevis L.]
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 1-3 feet
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   September,October
Also Called: Smooth blue aster.
Stems: Erect, slender, simple to branched, glabrous, often waxy, lower stem sometimes reddish.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, clasping, variable in size and shape, lanceolate or broadly ovate to almost linear, to 4 inches long and 3/4 inch wide, thick, firm; margins entire or toothed.
Inflorescences: Open panicles of several to numerous heads; heads to 1 inch wide; bracts overlapping, tips rhombic, green, blunt or pointed.
Flowers: Ray florets 15-25, 1/3 to 2/3 inch long, bluish to pale-purple; disk florets yellow.
Fruits: Achenes, smooth, tipped with reddish bristles, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Dry open sites.
Distribution: East third of Kansas.
Uses: Native Americans used smoke from burning smooth aster to revive an unconscious person.

Smooth aster leaves
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Smooth aster inflorescence
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Smooth aster
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Smooth aster florets
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Riley County, Kansas
Smooth aster heads
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Riley County, Kansas
Smooth aster leaves
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Riley County, Kansas