Stokes’ aster stays evergreen in winter, blooms in June

STOKE’S ASTER

Stokesia laevis or Stokes' aster, a lovely summer bloomer, is a native to the southeast and east of the Mississippi. This cultivar is called Peachey's Pick, named after the lady in whose yard it was found.

The native and many other cultivars of this aster tend to flop everywhere.

Peachey's Pick grows very upright and holds its little blooms up for everyone to see. We also have a cultivar called Blue Danube in the Rainbow Border of the IDEA Garden; so judge for yourself which one is prettiest. Stokesia also comes in white and deep purple and may be found in good nurseries all around.

Look for Peachey's Pick Stokesia behind the fence on the south end of the garden in the bed behind the compost bins. It's growing on the side nearest the rainbow border. You will see it propped up under the holly, which, being too shady, is causing it to flop.

Plant this plant in full sun and it will grow upright and never need any support. We will have to move ours this fall or winter.

Very perennial, this little plant stays evergreen in winter then quickly grows into a large clump by June when it blooms all month. Butterflies are fond of the lacy blooms. Stokesia is also a long-lived plant. I have had mine for about 12 years. The one in the Rainbow Border is as old as the garden, about 15 years.

Stokesia is often pronounced sto-kee-sia. Stokes was an early botanist for which the flower is named and the plant should be pronounced stokes-ia.

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