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1st Mar 2021

Stokesia laevis “Stokes’ aster”

The American native with British and Dutch connections and a sweet Southern surprise

Of the many wonderful perennials discovered in North America, few can claim to be prettier than this one. The fanciful frilly flowers may appear dainty, but don’t be fooled. This is a sturdy species, hardy and easy to grow. Pollinators are very fond of it, so watch for nectaring butterflies and moths. All varieties share the straight species’ trademark broad, strappy leaves.

It is an upright perennial which features fluffy, cornflower-like flowers on generally erect, leafy stems. Rosettes are evergreen in warm winter climates. With its long summer bloom, Stokesia is considered one of the most attractive late-flowering perennials. Cut flowers can remain attractive for a week or more.

Stokes’ aster is named in honor of British physician & botanist Jonathan Stokes, who lived and botanized from 1755 to 1831.