Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, June 27, 2008

There's Something About Peachie!

Peachie's Pick is on my radar right now!



She's standing tall and looking good! (all photos enlarge)


Look at that posture! Not a curved stem anywhere on this lady. Stokesia laevis "Peachie's Pick" has erect stems, healthy green leaves, heat and drought tolerance and a later bloom time than the species... which makes her especially attractive to grow here in the south.

Her lavender blue flowers are a wonderful addition to the garden. She makes a good cut flower for those of you who like to bring your garden inside....you can't beat those erect stems. I leave her in the garden...we have this cat who likes to eat flowers!

She will grow in most sunny, well drained perennial borders. She brooks no poorly drained, heavy clay soil! "What!" you've exclaimed. You're wondering how she tolerates Clay and Limestone! She's happy here because I make sure her feet aren't wet during the winter months. That's our rainy season, so the soil has been amended with a shovel of gravel for faster drainage.

For those of you further north than Tennessee...Stokesia is a native of the Southeastern states...Naturally found growing in moist pine flatlands. Zone 5 might be her upper limits...Mulch will help, just remember...definitely No Winter Wet Feet! She likes her moisture in the summer.

If you're in Zone 6a/b or warmer, Peachie will sport a lovely deep green basel rosette all winter. Aren't her leaves a lovely shade of green?
Evergreen plants are greatly valued in all gardens during the winter months, but are especially appreciated where there is no snow cover.....We need some color on the ground, not just in the shrub layer.

I have high hopes for Peachie...she is rumored to be a re-bloomer, if deadheaded regularly. My experience with the Stokesia laevis (species) leads me to believe... that no way, no how will she re-bloom, but who knows! Plants never cease to surprise and amaze.

One site recommends letting Peachie go to seed... because the seed heads and flower bracts turn a lovely pink and green. This is plant hearsay! When you dead head with hopes of re-bloom...you don't get to see pretty in pink and green bracts and seed heads. But, I'm willing to give it a try! Maybe I'll leave one plant alone...no deadheading and see if indeed the seed heads are worth it! At the very least there will be some seeds.

Peachie is growing in the almost native garden ...She is sited directly in front of a purple Baptisia. You can just see the Baptisia leaves in the background. The leaf contrast is attractive...and since they bloom at different times, that is greatly appreciated. I love the pop of white in the center of Peachie's flower.

At her feet are Thyme and Cranesbill. Don't you think she would look lovely with Coreopsis lanceolata, any of the purple Echinachea and other June bloomers. I haven't tried this yet, but a spot of Silene Virginica (Fire Pink) might be quite effective for those of you into hot colors.

The Blue of Stoke's Aster is said to have a calming or softening effect on the yellow of Oenothera (Sundrops) or Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed). Imagine her winter rossette with gray leaved Mulleins, the pretty leaves of Heuchera and Blue Eyed Grass. I am already planning on where I'll put her when it's time to divide!

Every garden has their own unique micro-climate and what blooms here in June might bloom where you are in May or July! You probably have some great plant combinations that the Mid South just can't create! If you grow Stokesia what have you combined it with?


Bees and Butterflies seem to love it!

If you look closely you can find a sweet butterfly! Oh, I've forgotten what her name is...the caterpillar is fond of the Brassicaceae plant family! It's a Cabbage White Butterfly!

Also, hovering around Stokesia, have been lots of small pollinators...very bee like in appearance, but too fast to get a good photo! Later this afternoon, this big boy was hanging around Peachie!

I hope you give this plant a try. She is perfectly well mannered, she looks gorgeous in the garden, she makes an excellent cut flower, there are rumors that she re-blooms, she has pretty fall seed-heads, she attracts pollinators and she is evergreen. You have to agree, there is something about Peachie!

Gail



“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
The Buddha

23 comments:

  1. Yes, I want to try stokesia. I do not have it all. Your combination looks and sounds super great!

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  2. Tina,

    I wasn't sold on Stokesia until this plant came into my garden, I think I bought it at Growild! I thought long and hard about planting Peachie in front of the Baptisia...even moved another plant, usually I buy and run around looking for a place and either just put them in the ground any place or into the holding area till fall.

    Gail

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  3. Gail, Just when I thought my plant-want list was long enough, you show me another beauty to be added! I'm always looking for another blue or purple accent. I'm going to have to do a little research to see if she holds up in zone 5; I've seen stokesia in the nurseries before, but they may have labelled it as an annual here.

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  4. rose,

    Glad to aid and abet your EWS...that is the correct affliction...Empty Wallet Syndrome!

    My sources say she may hold up with mulch to zone 5. If not, she would be a pretty expensive annual, but if you are a propagating gardener and let her go to seed, (ooh, then you can tell me if she is pretty in pink and green seed heads) and plant her next year!

    Gail

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  5. Aaaahh!

    What a sweet flower. Never ever seen it before, or even heard its name.

    First thing I do is scan your leaves: no snail holes. Hmm. Witch craft?

    Lovely blue that is.

    Jo

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  6. I was just mentioning to my neighbor that I don't have any stokesia in my garden. I will definitely be on the lookout for this one! She does look very well behaved. I think she will look good with all of your suggestions!

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  7. Jo,

    It's true, no snails or slugs, but I would welcome them to the garden...it would mean we were having rain! Then of course I would be complaining!

    It is a lovely blue and I think happy in an English garden.

    Gail

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  8. layanee,

    How synchronistic the universe really is! Peachie is a peach and you can get it from Plants Delight. I have never ordered from them but it is an interesting catalog read! Are you zone 5?

    Gail

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  9. skeeter,

    I bet Peachie would be perfect for your garden! She is durable and adorable!

    gail

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  10. It looks like a great flower for the garden! If its full sun I wouldn't mind planting some of it here. Growild really has some neat plants, I really need to get up there sometime!

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  11. I've never grown Stokesia. This sounds like a good one. If I run across it, I might have to give it a try. You can never have too much blue in the garden.

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  12. Peachie is definitely something! I hope the rumor is true and she graces your garden years to come! (or at least one more time). She is pretty!

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  13. Dave,

    Have you checked out their website? You can go through it and then make an appointment to visit. Cash and check only!

    Oh, yes, full sun it is!

    gail

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  14. mmd,

    It's a great little plant and would be at home in your sunnier sections.
    You can't have enough blue plant, or plants with good qualities.

    Gail

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  15. DP,

    Do you have any perennials in your square foot garden? I have been tempted to grow more edible flowers..daylily buds are edible, calendula is edible...lots more!

    gail

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  16. Hi Gail,
    We've never considered (or seen much) Stokesia for our garden, since our full sun areas are getting pretty full, but this one is lovely! We love all things blue in the garden, so we may have to try one if we can find it. One thing though ... if it's lavender why do they call it Peachie? If I saw a peach that color, I'd pass it by! lol

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  17. Iowa,

    Peachie found it growing in her garden and shared it with the horticulture world! Seriously! It is a lovely color...if you come across it and find a wee bit of space...you'll love her.

    Gail

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  18. Lovely flower. I've never heard of it before. Must put it on my list for my blue garden that gets midday sun. Early morning shade--afternoon shade. Do you think it would go with Lily of the Nile & Lumbago as they are both blue?

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  19. lola,

    I don't have either of them! Can you believe that and both are beautiful blues...Is the plumbago a darker shade of blue? Go ahead and use it, I think the white center would help Peachie go with most blues!

    Gail

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  20. You have done a Great Sales Job on this flower! :-) Your photos are beautiful. Gail, how much sun does this plant need?

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  21. shady,

    It says full but in this spot it isn't the fullest of suns! I am really pleased with the plant and seriously she doesn't lean over looking for the sun! Hey, did you have a good time away from home?

    gail

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  22. I really did, Gail. What a privilege! I posted a very short post today about Lauritzen Garden in Omaha. :-)

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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