Monday, March 1, 2010

Stokes Aster

A genus of the single species listed below. This genus is part of the larger Asteraceae family.

Stokesia laevis
A moderate growing, perennial, reaching up to 32 inches x 3 feet, that is a rare native to the southeast U.S. ( Louisiana to South Carolina; south to northern Florida ). In milder regions this plant is evergreen. Great in the gardens or in an outdoor planter which is actually better for gardens where drainage may be an issue.
The smooth-edged, narrow, lance-shaped leaves, up to 10 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
The blue, pink or white flowers, up to 5 inches across, are borne during summer and autumn. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
This plant may be grown commercially as a crop in the future as its seeds are rich in epoxy fatty acids. Faster growing clones may be used in the future as an oilseed crop.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( 4 on protected sites with winter mulch ) in full sun to partial shade on fertile, moist, light, well drained soil. It does not like wet soil during winter but is very tolerant of heat, humidity and drought ( thriving even in Florida ). In areas with heavy clay, it is easier to grow in raised beds. Most vigorous if divided every 3 years. Propagation is also from vegetative stem cuttings or division during very early spring. Seed can also be sown under glass during late winter for non-cultivar plants. No known pests or diseases and is usually deer resistant.

* photo taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Jul 19 2017 @ Rideau Hall, Ottawa, ON

* havlis.cz

* historic archive photo


'Alba'
Reaches up to 1 foot, with white flowers.

'Blue Danube'
Reaches a maximum size of 2 x 3 feet with intense bright blue "daisies" up to 5 inches across, borne early summer to early autumn over a period lasting up to 14 weeks.

* photo taken on July 1 2011 in Columbia, MD
* photos taken on June 14 2012 in Ellicott City, MD
* photos taken on June 27 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 20 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 24 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Color Wheel'
Forms a clump, up to 3 feet across, with foliage up to 10 inches in height and flowers on stalks up to 2 feet high.
The flowers, up to 3 inches across, borne mid spring to late summer, are white deepening to lavender then dark bluish-purple. Due to continuous bloom, usually all colors appear at the same time on the same plant. The blooming season is generally late spring to early summer.

* photo taken on June 26 2011 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on June 20 2014 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on June 2015 in Harford Co., MD


'Divinity'
Vigorous in habit, reaching up to 1.5 x 1.5 feet in size, with large, pure white flowers up to 4 inches across.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

'Elf'
A dwarf, compact form, reaching up to 8 x 12 inches. The luxuriant, leathery foliage is the darkest green of any cultivar.
The violet flowers are borne continuously from late June through August.

'Klaus Jelitto'
Reaches up to 2 x 2.6 feet with huge, pale blue flowers, up to 5 inches across.

* photos taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Mary Gregory'
Vigorous growing, reaching up to 3 x 3 feet, with yellow flowers over a long season.

* photos taken on June 4 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 26 2013 in Baltimore Co., MD


'Mel's Blue'
Reaches up to 20 x 20 inches, with strong stems bearing abundant, lavender-blue flowers, up to 4 inches across, over a long season.

'Omega Skyrocket'
The "Stokesia on Steroids" is very robust, reaching up to 5 ( rarely over 4 ) x 3 feet. The large "daisies" come in a variety of shades of blue.

'Peachie's Pick'
Erect in habit, reaching up to 20 inches x 2 feet with attractive, compact foliage which remains luxuriant deep green all season.
It bears abundant, large blue flowers, up to 3 inches across, borne early to mid summer.

* photos taken on Oct 23 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC


'Purple Parasols'
Reaches up to 2 x 3 feet, with large, deep violet-blue flowers ( often bright blue at first ) from mid-summer into early autumn.

* photos taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

'Silver Moon'
Pinkish-white flowers borne mid to late summer.

'Traumerei'
Reaches a maximum size of 1 x 3 feet, with pure white ( slightly tinted pink in center ) flowers borne late summer to mid autumn.
The lance-shaped foliage is deep green.

* photo taken on July 1 2013 in Columbia, MD

'Wyoming'
Reaches up to 20 inches in height with leathery foliage and profuse rich deep blue flowers borne mid summer to early autumn.

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