'Bluebird' is a fantastic selection of the native Smooth Aster introduced by Dr. Richard Lighty of the Mt.Cuba Center. This tall vased-shaped wildflower has large 1" diameter blue flowers held in cloud-like clusters at the tips of the arching branches. You can pinch back the young shoots in June for denser habit and more flowers, but it is not essential. Staking is helpful by late summer if you forget to pinch. Perfectly clean foliage makes for easy maintenance. Aster laevis is a great source of nectar for migrating monarchs and other late-season butterflies.
Attracts butterflies and a variety of native bees
Clean foliage all season
Does not need to be staked
Fields, dry woods and prairies; Quebec to British Columbia south to New Mexico and Georgia.
Plant several different types of Asters such as Smooth Aster (Aster laevis) and New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) because they bloom at different times. You'll enjoy the butterflies for weeks longer that way.
Will grow in a range of soils and moisture levels. Does best in full sun in average to dry soil. Will grow and bloom in part shade, but may need some support. You can pinch back the young shoots in June for denser habit and more flowers, but it is not essential.