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Symphyotrichum cordifolium (Broad-leaved aster)
Smith, R.W.

Symphyotrichum cordifolium

Symphyotrichum cordifolium (L.) G.L. Nesom

Broad-leaved Aster, Common Blue Wood Aster, Heartleaf Aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Aster cordifolius, Aster cordifolius ssp. sagittifolius, Aster cordifolius var. furbishiae, Aster cordifolius var. incisus, Aster cordifolius var. lanceolatus, Aster cordifolius var. moratus, Aster cordifolius var. polycephalus, Aster cordifolius var. racemiflorus, Aster cordifolius var. sagittifolius, Aster finkii var. moratus, Aster lowrieanus var. incisus, Aster lowrieanus var. lanceolatus, Aster plumarius, Aster sagittifolius, Symphyotrichum cordifolium var. furbishiae, Symphyotrichum cordifolium var. lanceolatum, Symphyotrichum cordifolium var. moratum, Symphyotrichum cordifolium var. polycephalum, Symphyotrichum cordifolium var. racemiflorum, Symphyotrichum sagittifolium

USDA Symbol: syco4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The broad-leaved aster grows to 4 feet tall with many branches. Leaves are simple, alternate. There are 10-15 ray flowers, light blue to purple or sometimes white 1/8-1/2 inch long, with a yellow center.


From the Image Gallery

117 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: Usually blue to purple. Occasionally white to pink. This species flowers earlier in the South (June to August) than in the more northern regions of its range. According to Randi Eckel at Toadshade Wildflower Farm in Frenchtown, NJ, it begins flowering as early as late September continues into November in their area.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Habitat: upland meadow, upland forests

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Symphyotrichum cordifolium in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Symphyotrichum cordifolium in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Symphyotrichum cordifolium


Record Modified: 2023-01-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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