Stokesia laevis (Hill) Greene
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Carthamus laevis
USDA Symbol: stla6
Stokes aster is a low perennial, 12-18 in. tall, with a basal cluster of dark-green, lance-shaped leaves. The numerous, solitary, flower heads are 3-4 in. across, with deeply divided blue rays and very prominent blue florets from the disk.
This species readily self-sows and adapts to many conditions.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Size Notes: 12 to 30 inches high
Flower: Flowers 2 to 4 inches across
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Will only bloom through the summer if you cut off the flowers before they seed.
DistributionUSA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC
Native Distribution: NC to LA, east of the Mississippi River.
Native Habitat: Coastal plains, bogs, pine savannah, and open woodlands.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, rich, well-drained soil, acidic sands preferred.
Conditions Comments: Winter hardy to Zone 5, well north of its native range.
BenefitUse Ornamental: A low-maintenance, low-growing groundcovering plant with attractive flowers.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Cuttings , Root Division , Seeds
Description: May be propagated by root cuttings, seed, or division. Sow seeds in a cold frame in late winter, transplanting after the last frost. Take cutting of long, thick roots in the fall and make crown division in the spring or fall.
Seed Collection: Papery-brown bracts surround the nutlets which, when mature, are 1/4 in. long and brown. Maturation is almost two months after flowering. Many nutlets do not develop fully and should be separated out. Store dried nutlets in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Colonizes vigorously, so lift and divide every 3 or 4 years if want to keep thinned.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
United States Botanic Garden - Washington, DC
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
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Recommended Species Lists
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Stokesia laevis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Stokesia laevis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Stokesia laevis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff