Stokes Aster
(Stokesia laevis)


Plant Description:

Stokes Aster is a native to the Southeastern United States.  it is an evergreen herbaceous perennial and very easy to grow.  Numerous shaggy daisy-like flowers are produced on erect stems above the ground hugging foliage.  Many cultivars are available with flower colors in various shades of blue, pink, white, and yellow.  One cultivar named 'Color Wheel' has flowers that change from white to blue to purple as they mature.

Mature Size:     1-2 feet tall and wide

Growth Rate:     Fast

Plant Habit:     Mounded basal rosette

Plant Spacing:     18 to 24 inches


Ornamental Characteristics & Uses:

Foliage Color:     Dark Green

Flower Color:     Blue, Pink, White, or Yellow

Bloom Time:     Spring - Summer

Attracts Wildlife:     Butterflies and Bees

Uses:     Front of perennial borders


Growing Requirements: 

Cold Hardiness Zone(s):    8 - 11

Exposure:    Full or Partial Sun

Water Needs:     Low

Soil Tolerances:   Prefers sandy soil; high drought tolerance

Soil pH:     Requires acidic soil

Maintenance:     Easy


General Care & Growing Tips:

This low-maintenance perennial packs a punch of color to the landscape, especially when planted in masses or in container groupings.  Flowers serve as a great source of nectar for butterflies and also attract bees; spend flower heads can be removed as desired.  Mature plants form clumps that spread slowly, and clumps can be divided to yield new plants.  A general purpose, slow-release fertilizer application in spring should be sufficient for adequate growth through the season.  Like most plants, maintenance a 2- to 3- inch layer of organc mulch is beneficial to retain soil moisture and reduce weed competition.


Common Pests:

No diseases are of major concern.


References:


Wichman, T., Knox, G., Gilman, E., Sandrock, D., Schutzman, B., Alvarez, E., Schoellhorn, R., and Larson, B. (2006). Florida-Friendly Plant List.  Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Handbook.  University of Florida.



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