Aster laevis 'Bluebird' - Smooth Aster
Aster laevis 'Bluebird' - Smooth Aster

Aster laevis 'Bluebird' - Smooth Aster

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Butterfly FriendlyFull SunPart Shade
Smooth Aster
Aster laevis 'Bluebird'

'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
  • Drought tolerant
  • Clean foliage all season
  • Does not need to be staked

Native Range

Fields, dry woods and prairies; Quebec to British Columbia south to New Mexico and Georgia.

Distribution Maps by State and County



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.


Mature Size: 3-4ft. Tall x 24-30in. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

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    American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose

    Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:

    • Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
    • Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
    • Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
    • Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
    • Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
    • Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
    • Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted

    Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success

    Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice. 

    When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife. 

    A Special Note About Exposure

    Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.


    Best Plants for Bees - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Butterflies - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Birds - Double sided printout for download