Coefficient of Conservatism:
Coefficient of Wetness:
SMOOTH SWAMP ASTER
A. A. Reznicek
Included in Aster puniceus in Michigan Flora.
Sedge meadows, openings in swamps, wet shrub swamps, river and stream banks, lake shores, moist fields, ditches, wet roadsides, less commonly in drier fields.
We follow Warners & Laughlin (1999) in separating S. puniceum and S. firmum, though any single character may show overlap. Symphyotrichum firmum tends to form large showy colonies from extensive long-creeping rhizomes and is often conspicuous in open ground as along wet roadsides, and even in somewhat drier settings. The stem is glabrous or glabrate below, with the upper internodes glabrous or with pubescence uneven (in narrow stripes or lines) and the internodes are shorter, giving a very compact and leafy appearance to the top of the plant. Some unusually pubescent specimens may be easily separable in the herbarium only if basal parts are present. Usually, the flowers are paler, often nearly white, than the rich blue of S. puniceum.