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Stokesia

Stokesia (stoh-keez-ee-uh), Stokes' aster; Family: Asteraceae. There is only one species, a hardy perennial native to the southeastern states, with perky aster-like flowers and abundant foliage. A good garden plant, Stokesia is useful for cutting and in the perennial border. Full sun and well-drained, slightly sandy, garden loam are deeded.

Stokesia laevis (lee-viss) grows 1 to 1.5 feet high, with lavender-blue flowers, 2 to 4 inches across, blooming in August and September. The plant has branched, purplish hairy stems.

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' Asters are easy to grown in average, medium, well-drained soil. Prefers moist, sandy, acidic soil, but is somewhat drought and heat tolerant. Adaptable to dry or moist soil, Stokes' Asters cannot tolerate standing in water. Wet soil in winter is its main cause of death. Once flowering is finished, cut back the basal foliage for fresh new growth. Winter mulch is recommended in zone 5.

Easy to grow in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun, Stokesia tolerates filtered sunlight. It prefers moist, acidic soils, but has good drought tolerance. Well-drained soil is essential as wet winter soil in is the main cause of death for this plant.

Stokesia is a native North American wildflower. A favorite for its ease of culture, it is also one of the most attractive late-flowering perennials, plus cut flowers hold for a week or more. Attracts butterflies. Deer and Rabbit resistant.

Attributes: Border plants, Containers, Cut flower, Drought Tolerant, Mass Planting, Easy to grow.

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