Seeds were started last spring, and then seedlings went into the garden. I picked out a nice spot that was full of sun and good soil. The good soil part is a relative term -- relative to the soil around the property.
They grew beautiful full leaves and no flowers. This year, they sprung to life. Excitement built as the first buds started to emerge a few months ago. Then more excitement as stems branched out with even more buds. Were they blue? Were they pink? Where they bi-color? Who knew? Maybe they were not stokesia. After all, I have picked up bulbs labeled 'dwarf orange gladiolus' to find they were purple upon blooming. And, I planted a few things that never germinated, like Scabiosa, the same year.
The 2-inch (5 cm), larger-than-expected flowers are a blueish purple that fade lighter as they age. The biggest issue I have is that they flopped over. The five plants relied upon each other to prop themselves up, but with a little wind, they now all fell over.
Stokesia or Stokes Aster, is a member of the daisy / aster family, and is native to the southeastern United States. There! I planted another native without knowing it was a native. It prefers wet or soggy areas, and is evergreen in some southern areas, but likes heat, and thus is considered drought tolerant. It was named after English botanist Jonathan Stokes. Shouldn't we have native plants named after native Americans?
For The Record:
Well-drained loose fertile soil
Small amount of fertilizer in autumn
No serious pests/disease
Tends to fall over upon blooming
Blooming: cosmos, phlox, rudbeckia, echinacea, liatris, marigold, Russian sage, daylilies
Harvested: cilantro, dill, onions