Plant of the Month: Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

I have two exciting things to share! First, we have reached our goal of 10,000 observations! Thank you so much everyone! Second, Kiarra @kiarra13 will be taking over our plant and pollinator of the month segments. She is completing her undergraduate honours project that focuses on meaningful science communication! I have the pleasure of mentoring them on this project and I am super excited for the work they are doing!

Without further ado, here is the plant of the month:

Symphyotrichum laeve, commonly known as Smooth Aster or Smooth Blue Aster, is a perennial wildflower in the daisy family (Asteraceae). There are 15 species of Symphyotrichum, commonly called American Asters, native to Alberta. The scientific name Symphyotrichum comes from the Greek words sympho and trichos, meaning ‘to grow together’ and ‘a single hair’ respectively. The scientific name laeve comes from the Latin word levis which means smooth. Their name comes from their appearance. They have hairless stems. The leaves are smooth, waxy and rubbery in texture and oblong in shape with either a smooth or serrated edge. The leaves have an alternate arrangement and clasp the stem. Smooth Blue Aster also has small flowers that consist of 15-30 purple-blue petals and form clusters on branches (panicle inflorescence). They bloom in full sun from late summer to early fall.

They are native to North America. They are currently distributed throughout the United States and Canada, from British Columbia to New Brunswick, and in Yukon. Smooth Blue Aster can be used to treat toothaches and fevers.

Smooth Blue Aster attracts butterfly and bee pollinators, including sweat bees, bumblebees, and leaf cutter bees. Having a late bloom time is especially important for bumble bee queens and migrating species. They also attract deers that graze on them. The plants then respond by increasing growth the next season.

purple aster flower iNaturalist Calgary Pollinators Project observation page

Publicado el octubre 13, 2023 05:27 TARDE por jdo77 jdo77


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