Although, Stokesia laevis is not native to the Central Basin or for that matter to Tennessee, it is one of my favorite wildflowers. I fell in love with 'Peachie's Pick' the first time I saw the fluffy lilac blue flowers in full bloom and it's by far the best Stokes aster for good looks.
It's blooming in my garden right now, just in time to mingle with the day lilies and the phloxes.
Peachie's Pick' Stokesia is an evergreen perennial with a luscious lavender-blue cornflower like flower, that blooms for a long time and mixes well with other wildflowers.
It is also a great plant to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to your native garden. Studies have shown that Stokes Aster attracted 4 times the number of honeybees; bumblebees; native bees (including Halictid bees); flies; butterflies, moths & skippers; beetles and wasps than other native plants. That's great news for gardeners in Southeastern states who are committed to creating a habitat for native pollinators. It's good news for any of us who are committed to providing a habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. I find that studies like this one conducted in Georgia reinforce how important native plants are to habitat restoration and creation.
hoverfly and beetle attractor.
|Skippers love Stokesia!|
PS This beauty was originally found growing in Peachie Saxon's Mississippi garden many years ago and she generously shared it with the gardening world!
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.