Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates filtered sunlight, but prefers full sun. Prefers moist, sandy soils, but has surprisingly good drought and heat tolerance. Wet soil in winter is the main cause of death for this plant. A well-drained soil is essential. These plants appreciate winter mulch in the northern parts of their growing range (USDA Zone 5). Deadhead individual spent flowers and remove spent flowering stems to encourage additional bloom. Plants can be cut back to basal foliage after bloom.
Stokesia laevis, commonly known as Stokes' aster, is native to wetlands, bottomlands, wet pinewoods, savannas and ditches mostly along the coastal plain from North Carolina to Florida to Louisiana. It is an evergreen perennial that typically grows to 1-2' tall. It features fluffy, cornflower-like, violet blue flowers (to 2 1/2” across), each with notched rays surrounding a pincushion center of feathery disk florets. Flowers bloom from early to mid-summer (sometimes with a fall rebloom) atop generally erect, leafy stems that rise from a basal rosette of lanceolate to elliptic, medium green leaves (to 6" long). Stem leaves are stalkless and smaller than basal leaves. Leaves are evergreen in warm winter climates.
Genus name honors English physician/botanist Jonathan Stokes (1755-1831).
Specific epithet means smooth.
‘Peachie’s Pick’ is a compact, late-blooming Stokes’ aster cultivar that features fluffy, cornflower-like blue flowers (to 3” across) on generally erect, leafy stems growing to 12-18” tall. Cultivar name is in reference to the individual (Peachie Saxton) who discovered the plant and not to the flower color.
No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for caterpillars. Flower stems tend to flop, particularly after a strong Midwestern thundershower.
Flowering stems tend to flop less than some other Stokes’aster cultivars.
Border fronts or cottage gardens. Moist areas along ponds, streams or water gardens. Small groupings or mass.