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
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

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(3 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

Hammond, 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

Croton On Hudson, New York

Himrod, 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

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Whitehall, Pennsylvania

Charleston, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Goose Creek, South Carolina

Prosperity, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Crossville, Tennessee

Maryville, Tennessee

Conroe, Texas

Houston, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Staunton, Virginia

Suffolk, Virginia

East Port Orchard, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Parkwood, Washington

Port Orchard, Washington

Puyallup, Washington(2 reports)

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 13, 2018, wishnwell from Houston, TX wrote:

This surprised me with gorgeous deep-purple blooms in late April in my Zone 9b garden. I had planted it a couple years ago and somehow "lost" it. After a freeze in Jan 2018 that burned much of my garden down to the roots, this popped up with a full display of blooms. It's in full sun, so I may decide to transplant it for some afternoon shade.


On Jan 14, 2018, lightyellow from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

Very good native plant for shady beds in the Southeast US. Mine took 0 effort to establish in regular Florida soil, part shade. I have the species and the cultivar 'Mary Gregory' (which has slightly thinner leaves and cream/pale yellow flowers). It attracts native bees and butterflies so it's suitable for extending butterfly gardens into less sunny spots where few attractors grow.

There's an invasive/noxious warning but I have never known them to be aggressive in their native range (also they are short so they are unlikely to crowd out most plants). They are clumping which allow for easy division/propagation, though.


On Jul 9, 2015, aleelee from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

I have this planted on each end of my vegetable garden. This plant attracts so many bees and butterflies my plants have triple the number of fruits. I love all the different butterflies.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)


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.


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.


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... read more


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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