Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Narrowleaf Smooth Aster - Symphyotrichum concinnum   (Willdenow) Mohlenbrock
Members of Asteraceae:
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Section 6 » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Willdenow) Mohlenbrock
DistributionThis species has often been considered as a part of the larger S. laevis complex, and treated as a variety in RAB (1968). The range in NC is nearly restricted to the Piedmont, apparently rare in the southern Mountains.

DE, PA, and KY, south to northern FL and MS.
AbundanceRare to uncommon in the northeastern Piedmont, but generally rare elsewhere in the province. Very rare in the southern Mountains (Clay County). The species does not grow in stands or patches, and most NC populations are quite small, often under 10 plants. This is a State Endangered species. Searches in the early 2000s failed to relocate it in Anson, Stanly, and Union counties.
HabitatDry woodlands (hardwoods and pine-hardwoods), glades and barrens, wooded openings, and edges, but always over mafic or calcareous rocks (i.e., in high pH soil).
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-October.
IdentificationNarrowleaf Smooth Aster has a two-parted look: the lower half of the stem has lance-shape to broadly linear leaves with non-toothed margins and that are progressively smaller up-stem; the upper half has moderate to long, ascending branches that have many small, elliptical leaflike bracts. These branches have 1-few heads. Heads have light blue to lavender rays and yellow disks. The species is very similar to S. laeve, but that plant has broader leaves whose bases clasp the stem.
Taxonomic CommentsNOTE: The genus Aster was examined by G.L. Nesom (1994), who determined that it was composed of a number of discrete genera (a few of which were already split off by authors as Sericocarpus, Ionactis, etc.). The earliest available name for North American "Aster" is Symphyotrichum, a name regrettably long and hard to spell.

By some authors this species treated as S. laeve var. concinnum.

Other Common Name(s)Smooth Blue Aster
State RankS2
Global RankG4
State StatusE
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