Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Stokes' Aster, Stokes Aster, Cornflower Aster
Stokesia laevis

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stokesia (sto-KEES-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: laevis (LEE-viss) (Info)

Synonym:Carthamus laevis

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

32 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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7 positives
8 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Oct 16, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Flowers are big, 3-4" across. Flower color is usually lavender/blue-violet, but there are cultivars that are white, purple/deep pink, or pale yellow. 'Peachie's Pick', with lavender flowers, is the best performing cultivar.

Flower stems can be tall (to 3' in some cultivars, though usually more like 18") and in my experience usually need support. Basal foliage is neat and clean.

Some gardeners, myself included, have found this to be short-lived. Good drainage is necessary for winter survival, and a winter mulch may be helpful in Z5. Self-sows.

Native from North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana, this heat-tolerant species is widely grown in the south.

Negative plantgnome1 On Jun 7, 2014, plantgnome1 from nowhere land, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Have this one called Color Wheel-bloomed fine in part shade for two years, this year a few leaves popped up and then nothing. No flower stalks, the foliage never finished coming up. Not replacing and will plant something more dependable there.

Negative mirolex On Aug 31, 2013, mirolex from Claremore, OK wrote:

I've had this plant for several years in a full sun, well-drained bed but it's not done well, even with regular watering & feeding. Blooms once & that's it, even after deadheading. Thinking of moving it to an under-tree bed getting morning & some afternoon sun, dappled midday. If it does no better, it's likely going in the compost bin.

Neutral sharrylock On Sep 6, 2012, sharrylock from Gages Lake, IL wrote:

I planted several of the Stokes' Asters at the end of my driveway about 5 years ago. Until last year they produced beautifully and I was able to share cut flowers with all my friends and use them in my home. Last summer for seemingly no reason they produced buds but never bloomed. The same thing happened this year. They are in huge clumps and the plants seem very healthy.

Positive JonthanJ On Nov 26, 2011, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

These guys grow and bloom generously in a very well drained site I made by laying down a cheap scree of pit run gravel at the side of our driveway. The old leaves seem to make all the mulch they needed to get through last winter's 18 degrees below zero (F.). I am surprised that the gravel is sufficiently acidic. The rootball from the trade gallon pots they came in means that there are a couple of quarts or a liter of better soil right under the crown, but I am sure that the roots go much further than the former limits of the pot size.

Neutral Mountaindave On Oct 30, 2009, Mountaindave from Port Orchard, WA wrote:

Of all my asters, this one does the poorest for some reason, probably because it is a native to the Southwest and I am trying to grow it in the Pacific NW? Maybe it's the freeze/ thaw cycles as well.

Positive GreeneLady On Jun 10, 2008, GreeneLady from Oak Island, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I planted these next to my pond. They were only planted 2 months ago and are already twice the size that they were when I originally purchased them. They are simply covered with big 3-4 inch blooms.

Negative Parrot_ice On Jul 11, 2007, Parrot_ice from Saint Louis, MO wrote:

I planted Stoke's aster about 7 years ago - it bloomed the first year, then seemed to disappear from view (in an overcroweded, underfertilized bed) - when I finally started taking care of the bed, I was happy to see the stokesia reappear, but it still has not flowered - I moved it to a sunnier location and divided it - still no flowers. what is with this plant? (I'm in zone 5, my soil is heavy clay somewhat enriched with half-decomposed leaf mulch)

Positive jellylady On Jul 2, 2007, jellylady from Holden, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

i found this plant growing wild on my brothers property in may of 1996. i transfered it to a container then to a raised bed. when i moved i put it back in a container. it is a large plant now. it is very beautiful and i love having it in my garden.

Positive pinecone_ginger On Aug 19, 2006, pinecone_ginger from Fort Walton Beach, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

My plant is in full sun and rather poor sandy soil. Yet, blooms beautifully every year and has small babies. Maybe I'll transplant the babies to my raised bed so I can see if they grow faster an multiply more. That would be lovely.

Positive JaxFlaGardener On May 24, 2004, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I was pleasantly surprised to recently find two of these Asters growing as volunteers or long dormant remainders from previous gardeners on my property. I have been in my house for about 2 years and have only mowed the unlandscaped portions of my 1/2 acre lot about once or twice. A benefit of not mowing is finding nice surprises such as this! I also had existing growth of Southern Grape Fern (Botrychium biternatum), Gloriosa lilies, and other plants that would have been lost if I had mowed without concern for the existing vegetation.

Update: 06/08/06: The original Stoke's Aster I found reproduced by seedlings in the immediate area of the parent plant. I have successfully transplanted some of the seedlings to a more sunny location at the front of my house. The oldest of the transplanted seedlings reached full blooming maturity this Spring. I would enjoy having an entire field of these wonderful blue flowers and hope they continue to multiply.


Positive weedgrrl On May 20, 2004, weedgrrl from Yorktown Heights, NY wrote:

I like the flowers and the foliage. Unfortunately, rabbits *love* this plant....

Neutral patischell On Mar 15, 2004, patischell from Fort Pierce, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

The Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association has just chosen this plant to be one of it's "Plant of the Year". This program was established in 1998 by the FNGA to promote underused but proven plant material. For a plant to be considered a Florida Plant of the Year, it must have good pest resistance, require reasonable care and be fairly easy to grow.

Positive ButterflyGardnr On Jan 17, 2003, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have not found this plant to spread much or become invasive in my landscape. It has very unique, large blooms that come in lavender, white, or yellow colors and its' blooms attract butterflies. Very rich soil and partial sunlight seem to be the winning combination in my garden. Protection from the hot midday summer sun in FL is highly recommended (morning sun and afternoon shade). It readily transplants. It has a lot of thick, fleshy roots, so try when transplanting, to make sure to get a nice rootball under the plant.

Neutral lupinelover On Aug 16, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

For several weeks in mid-summer this is a very beautiful plant. Rebloom is negligible, however, and the foliage is very untidy for most of the growing year.

Tends to spread invasively in good garden soil, requiring clumps to be lifted and separated every year or more desirable plants will be choked out.

Neutral gramoz On Aug 15, 2002, gramoz from Mountain Home, AR wrote:

Collecting seeds: Good seed is large, about the size of a small sunflower seed, and easy to collect from the dried bird's-nest shaped heads. The plants are moderately self-sterile. Often 70-80% of the seed in a head is not viable.

Neutral talinum On Sep 3, 2001, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

Round growth habit and spread of 18".
Drainage is imperative during the winter, particularly in the areas where alternate freezing and thawing is common. Plants is zone 5 will benefit from a winter mulch.
Best used in groups of three in the perennial border.
No serious in insects or diseases.
Easy to grow. Cut back plants to the ground in autumn.

Native to southern United States.

Neutral jody On Nov 3, 2000, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Only one species to this genus. Best cultivated in full sun to part shade in rich, well draining soil. Grows to about 18" high. Blooms late summer to autumn and the flowers are purple or white. They sort of look like a cornflower. Hardy zones 7-10


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Gadsden, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Monroeville, Alabama
Long Beach, California
Sacramento, California
Bartow, Florida
Deland, Florida
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida (2 reports)
Panama City, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)
Barnesville, Georgia
Harlem, Georgia
Jesup, Georgia
Rincon, Georgia
Edwardsville, Illinois
Grayslake, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Logansport, Indiana
Lansing, Kansas
La Grange, Kentucky
Brusly, Louisiana
Holden, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Youngsville, Louisiana
Centreville, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts
South Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Macomb, Michigan
Rockford, Michigan
Madison, Mississippi (2 reports)
Mathiston, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Haddonfield, New Jersey
Jamesburg, New Jersey
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Ocean City, New Jersey
Coram, New York
Palmyra, New York
Beulaville, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Whiteville, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio (2 reports)
Glouster, Ohio
Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Prosperity, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Crossville, Tennessee
Conroe, Texas
Kerrville, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Staunton, Virginia
Suffolk, Virginia
East Port Orchard, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Puyallup, Washington (2 reports)

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