Perennials, 40–100 cm, cespitose, eglandular; with cormoid, woody caudices. Stems 5–10+, erect or arching (light to dark brown), proximally sparsely to moderately finely woolly-pilose (hairs spreading to ascending), more densely so distally. Leaves (grayish) soft; basal withering by flowering, sessile, blades (1–3-nerved) elliptic-lanceolate, 20–40 × 10–20 mm, bases attenuate, margins usually entire, rarely remotely serrate, piloso-ciliate, apices acute to obtuse, faces silvery piloso-silky; proximal cauline withering by flowering, sessile, blades oblanceolate, 20–30 × 4–8 mm, bases rounded, subclasping, margins entire, scabrous to silky-piloso-ciliate, apices acute to obtuse, cuspidate-mucronate, faces moderately strigillose; distal sessile, blades lanceolate to narrowly ovate, 8–15 × 2.5–5 mm, reduced distally, bases cuneate, margins entire, apices acute, mucronate, faces moderately, finely lanoso-strigose. Heads radiate, in narrow, paniculiform (wand-shaped) to sometimes compact, racemiform arrays (1(–3) per branch). Peduncles densely hairy, bracts linear, grading into phyllaries. Involucres campanulate, 7–9 mm. Phyllaries in 3–4 series, spreading to reflexed, linear, unequal, bases (tan) ± indurate, margins scarious proximally, green distally, green zones foliaceous, apices acute, faces moderately woolly-strigose. Ray florets 7–12; corollas rose-purple, laminae 6–9 × 1–2 mm. Disc florets 14–20; corollas pink turning purple, 5–6 mm, tubes shorter than narrowly funnelform throats (thinly puberulent), lobes triangular, 0.3–0.5 mm. Cypselae fusiform-obovoid, not compressed, 2–3 mm, 6–8-nerved, faces densely strigose; pappi tan to yellowish tan, (5.5–)6.5–8 mm. 2n = 8.
Phenology: Flowering Oct–Nov.
Habitat: Deep, dry to moist, sandy soils, pine flatwoods, pine-scrub oak woods, favored by fires and clearcuts
Elevation: 0–40 m
Symphyotrichum plumosum is known only from Franklin County. It differs from S. concolor var. concolor in its long-acuminate, recurved to reflexed phyllaries. No intermediates with S. concolor were seen in the field.