Stokes’ aster ‘Peachie’s Pick’
Stokesia laevis ‘Peachie’s Pick’ (Stokes’ aster ‘Peachie’s Pick’). While this specific cultivar is of horticultural origin, Stokesia laevis is a native North American wildflower. It is also a member of the Asteraceae family.
The genus name honors Dr. Jonathan Stokes, a 18-19th century English physician. The cultivar name pays homage to the woman from Mississippi who discovered the plant, Peachie Saxton.
Stokesia laevis grows up to 45.72 cm (1.5 ft) tall with a 45.72 cm (1.5 ft) spread. Plants grow best in full sun with well-drained, sandy soil, but Stokesia laevis can also tolerate filtered sunlight and drought. The main killer of ‘Peachie’s Pick’ is wet soil in the winter, so it is very important to keep it well drained. It may also be helpful to use a layer of mulch in winter to protect against the cold.
This Stokes’ aster cultivar is best planted in small groupings throughout USDA Zones 5-9. The flowering stems tend to flop less than other Stokes’ asters, but their tall height leaves them susceptible to some reclining, especially after a strong thunderstorm. Stokesia laevis is a compact growing aster with fluffy, cornflower-like flowers (up to 7.62 cm across) colored lavender-blue. Especially if deadheaded, ‘Peachie’s Pick’ can bloom from midsummer to early fall. The stems originate from a rosette of oblong-lanceolate medium green leaves (up to 20.32 cm long). Stokesia also invites butterflies and bees to the garden!
|Botanical Name||Stokesia laevis ‘Peachie’s Pick’|
|Common Name||Stokes’ aster ‘Peachie’s Pick’|
|USDA Zone||5 thru 9|
|Light Requirement||Full Sun|
|Season(s) of interest||summer, fall, winter|
|Height and Spread||1-1.5ft x 1-1.5ft (30-45cm x 30-45cm)|
|Flower Color||Blue, Purple|
|Attracts Wildlife||Hosts Caterpillars of Butterflies/Moths, Attracts Pollinators, Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores|
|Additional Information||Not Native to the US Midwest. S. laevis native to southeastern North America.|
|Location in Lurie Garden||North Dark Plate, Northwest Light Plate|