About Stokes Aster.
This perennial, called an aster mostly because of its flower, is not an aster at all. Everybody knows asters bloom in the fall, and Stokesia blooms in late spring and summer. Everyone who grows it loves it. The basic, unhybridized wildflower, Stokesia laevis
is a native American wildflower from the southeastern states.
The beautiful hybrids have a lot to offer the perennial gardener. First of all, the plants are usually low and the flowers are large. The leaves are evergreen, so add attractive greenery year round at the front of a garden, where theyre usually planted. However, as for hardiness, this one differs from true asters dramatically. Stokesia is hardy only north to Zone 5, and usually needs protection there.
Nevertheless, in areas where it grows, this is a big favorite. It provides color over a long blooming season which extends for weeks, and today, there are beautiful cultivars in several colors. The name? Stokes was an English botanist who was a friend of Linneas son. So sometimes even in botany, its not what you know, but who you know!