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Symphyotrichum cordifolium facts for kids

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Symphyotrichum cordifolium
Heartleaf aster 1.jpg
Heartleaf aster
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
  • Aster cordifolius L.
  • Aster cordifolius L. var. furbishiae
  • Aster plumarius Burgess
  • Aster sagittifolius Wedemeyer ex Willd.
  • Symphyotrichum sagittifolium (Wedemeyer ex Willd.) G.L. Nesom

Symphyotrichum cordifolium (formerly Aster cordifolius), commonly known as common blue wood aster, blue wood-aster or heartleaf aster, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the family Asteraceae native to eastern North America.


Symphyotrichum cordifolium reaches heights of up to 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in). The lower leaves are heart-shaped, while leaves higher up on the stem tend to be sessile with more rounded bases. The composite flowers, which have bluish to rarely white ray florets and light yellow disc florets that eventually turn purple, emerge in August and persist into October.

Where its range overlaps with that of Symphyotrichum puniceum hybrids sometimes occur, which are named Symphyotrichum × tardiflorum.

Distribution and habitat

Symphyotrichum cordifolium occurs from Manitoba east to Nova Scotia and Maine, south to Georgia and Alabama and west to Oklahoma. It grows primarily in mesic sites with soils that are rocky to loamy, but generally rich, at heights ranging from sea level along the coastal plain up to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) in the Appalachians. It can be found on open wooded slopes, along the banks of streams, on moist ledges, in swampy woods, along the borders of beech–maple and oak–hickory forests, as well as in clearings, thickets and along roadsides and ditches. It can also be found in urban areas where it is sometimes a weed species.


The species is one of many species of North American asters that are cultivated as garden plants, often under the older name Aster cordifolius. Several cultivars have been selected for garden use, of which the following have achieved the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • 'Chieftain'
  • 'Little Carlow' (S. cordifolium hybrid)
  • ‘Photograph’ (S. cordifolius hybrid)
  • 'Sweet Lavender'
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