Symphyotrichum cordifolium (Common Blue Wood Aster)

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 414.


Where Commonly Found:  Meadows, fields, forests, forest edges and disturbed sites, CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT.
How to Identify: 
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Symphyotrichum cordifolium.
Missouri Botanical Garden Site for Symphyotrichum cordifolium.
Flower Type: 
Upper stem ends in 6″ – 18″ light purple panicles that are wider at the bottom, and longer than they are wide.  Smaller panicle can appears on upper lateral stems.  All stems are light to medium green, terete (cylindrical or slightly tapered without furrows or ridge), with hairs. Flowers appear in August to October.
Leaf Arrangement: 
Alternate leaves on a light green to reddish brown, often glabrous stems. The central stem occasionally exhibits sparse lines of hairs.
Leaf Type: 
Lower leaves are cordate while upper leaves are cordae-ovate or ovate, medium to dark green and glabrous on upper surfaces and light to medium green on under surfaces being either glabrous or just hairs along the major veins.  All leaves have coarsely serrated margins.  Lower leaves are up to 5″ long and 3″ across (not counting the petiole), and smaller further up the stems.
Height:  2′-5′
Seed Collection: 
Allow seed heads to dry on the plant before cut off stalk and extracting the seeds.

Attracts:  Bees, Butterflies, Birds
Use:  Naturalizing
Light:  Full Sun to Full Shade
Hardiness Zone:  4 to 8   USDA Zone Map
Soils:  Dry to Moist
Notes:  Symphyotrichum cordifolium (Blue Wood Aster) is great for accommodating late season pollinators in open woodlands.
Native to Northeast, and Midwest and South US:  Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North America Plant Atlas (NAPA).

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