“Stoked Aster” for Pollinator Week

Stokes’ aster (Stokesia laevis) is in flower in the recently planted wildflower patch next to the volunteer office for the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, seemingly in honor of National Pollinator Week.

Thank you to Bob Montanaro, Pelican Island Audubon Society Office Manager, for these beautiful photographs of the Stokes’ aster, to Judy Gersony for donating our stokes’ aster plants, and to Steve Goff, Karen Naples, and Neil Naples seen below on 5/23/2016 after creating and planting this garden patch with pollinator plants …
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Stokes’ aster, like most members of the Asterceae (daisy) family, is very attractive to native bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. A spring-flowering perennial with 2 1/2 – 4″ flowers, stokes’ aster thrives best in partial sun and slightly acidic, well-drained soils.
Stokes’ aster forms clumps, seen above, that can be divided.

The genus name Stokesia honors Dr. Jonathan W. Stokes, an 18th century physician who popularized the use of digitalis for the treatment of heart ailments. The species name laevis means smooth or not hairy, referring to the leaves and stems. The floral bracts (seen below), though, are quite hairy.

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