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For Your Garden - August 2018

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

smooth aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Smooth aster is found in prairies, roadsides, fens and on rock ledges statewide. A single plant may attain a height of up to 36 inches. This member of the aster family has smooth stems with a blue-green appearance to the stems and leaves. Leaves clasp the stem. The flower heads have violet to blue ray flowers and are produced from July through October. Pollinators are attracted to the pollen and nectar of the flowers.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


​Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae

Illinois Status: common, native