Friday, September 28, 2018

Fall Plant Sale Preview: Stokes' Aster

Stokes' aster in the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants.
Photo by Sue Lannon.
By Annie Yang
Duke Class of 2020

Stokesia ‘Klaus Jelitto’ shares its name with Klaus R. Jelitto, a German horticulturalist who founded Jelitto Perennial Seeds, an international and award-winning seed company. Though Jelitto Perennial Seeds is a multinational company, this herbaceous perennial is native to the coastal plains from North Carolina down to Florida and should feel right at home in your garden.

Stokesia ‘Klaus Jelitto’, commonly called Stokes' aster, has a rather distinctive look, with its pincushion of florets in the center and notched blue-purple petals. It has a long summer to early fall bloom, and removing individual spent flowers will encourage springtime reflowering. This is a robust, low-maintenance plant and a good grower, preferring full sun although it can also tolerate filtered sunlight. ‘Klaus Jelitto’ thrives in moist, sandy soils and is drought and heat tolerant. Keep an eye on it after heavy rains, however, as its large flowers might flop.

Draw out this aster's strengths by planting it in borders, cottage gardens, or near water sources like streams and ponds. This is a plant native to wetlands, bottomlands, and wet pinewoods, after all! ‘Klaus Jelitto’ also works well in small groups or massed.

Date: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018
Time: 9 a.m.-noon
Member benefits: Duke Gardens members get 10% off all purchases, plus access to the members-only previews sale from 8-9 a.m., and a full list of plants in advance! Join online or on site beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Parking: Free.
Pets not permitted. Please see Duke Gardens' pets policy here.
Wagons + boxes: Our supply is limited; please bring your own if possible, and you'll have more time to spend gathering beautiful plants.
Your support helps Duke Gardens to provide summer internships to aspiring horticulturists from across the nation.
Please see our event page for more information, and we'd love for you to spread the word by sharing the event on Facebook and inviting your friends.
Thank you!

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