Perennials, 50–100 cm, colonial; rhizomatous, woody. Stems 1–5+, erect, straight (± stout, light to dark brown), proximally sparsely to moderately short-strigose, distally densely so, stipitate-glandular. Leaves (dark green) thick, firm, margins revolute (sometimes ± undulate), scabrous; basal early deciduous, sessile or subpetiolate, blades spatulate to obovate [size unknown], bases cuneate, margins entire to ± serrate, apices acute, faces finely scabrous; proximal cauline withering by flowering, sessile, blades (adaxially obscurely veined) oblong to lanceolate or narrowly obovate to oblanceolate, proximalmost ± pandurate, 20–70 × 10–20 mm, gradually reduced distally, bases auriculate-clasping, margins entire, finely scabrous, faces finely scabrous, stipitate-glandular; distal sessile, blades lanceolate to oblanceolate, 14–50 × 6–11 mm, reduced distally (much smaller on branches and grading ± abruptly into bracts), bases ± auriculate-clasping to subclasping, margins entire, apices mucronate to white-spinulose, faces scabrous, sometimes sparsely to moderately stipitate-glandular. Heads in narrow, racemiform to ± broad, paniculiform arrays, sometimes borne singly on branches, branches initially patent then ascending, leafy. Peduncles densely short-strigose, ± densely short-stipitate-glandular, bracts 1–8+, spreading to reflexed, linear to narrowly oblong-lanceolate, strigillose, stipitate-glandular, grading into phyllaries. Involucres campanulate to hemispheric, 8–10 mm. Phyllaries in 4–7 series, spatulate-oblong to lanceolate, unequal, innermost linear-lanceolate, bases tan, ± indurate in proximal 1/3–1/2, margins hyaline, not (outer) to narrowly scarious, strigoso- or hispido-ciliate, sometimes also stipitate-glandular (foliaceous apices), green zones lanceolate-spatulate, covering distal 1/2 or less, foliaceous apically, apices acute (outer) to acuminate or ± caudate (inner), spreading or reflexed (longer, inner), often purplish, faces moderately strigillose, stipitate-glandular. Ray florets 12–24; corollas lavender violet to dark reddish purple, laminae 14–24 × 1.5–3.5 mm. Disc florets 20–40; corollas white with purplish lobes, 7–9 mm, throats cylindro-funnelform (sparsely pilose), lobes narrowly triangular, 0.7–1.5 mm (sparsely glandular). Cypselae gray-brown, narrowly obovoid, compressed, 2.5–4 mm, 7–10-nerved, faces sparsely strigose; pappi tan to tawny, 9–11 mm. 2n = 50.
Phenology: Flowering Oct–Nov.
Habitat: Sandy and clay soils, oak-pine woodlands, road embankments (mostly Piedmont)
Elevation: 0–300 m
Ala., Fla., Ga., N.C., S.C.
Of conservation concern.
Symphyotrichum georgianum is disjunct and rare in southwestern Georgia and Leon County, Florida.