According to Wodehouse, Stokesia laevis has echinolophate pollen with surface ridges and prominent spines. (Skvarla, DeVore & Chissoe, 2005.)
Stokesia laevis was first described by John Hill in 1768 in Hortus Kewensis as Carthamus laevis. Then, in 1789, L'Heritier described the genus Stokesia, and Edward Greene renamed the species Stokesia laevis in 1893 in the journal Erythea.
It is the only species belonging to the genus Stokesia.
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Global Range: Gulf Coast, from Louisiana eastward to the Florida Panhandle, and irregularly northward on the Atlantic coastal plain to South Carolina. Occasionally planted and escaped from cultivation both within and somewhat outside this range (as in North Carolina).
"Stems tomentulose, glabrescent. Leaves: basal with petioles 3–12 cm, narrowly winged, blades 8–15 × 1–5 cm; cauline sessile, ± clasping, blades 5–12 × 1–3 cm. Involucres 25–45 × 25–45 mm. Phyllaries: outer 15–35+ mm, foliaceous portions elliptic to spatulate or linear, margins ± spiny, inner oblong to linear, 10–15+ mm, margins mostly entire, tips spiny. Corollas 15–25+ mm (outer) or 12–15+ mm (inner). Cypselae 5–8 mm; pappi 8–12 mm. 2n = 14."
Comments: Pine flatwoods, pitcher-plant bogs, etc.
Open woodlands, coastal plains and bogs
Stokesia laevis attracts a variety of bees, flies, and butterflies, as well as a few species of bird.
Life History and Behavior
Flowers June to September
Stokesia laevis has a medium growth rate.
Physiology and Cell Biology
Stokesia laevis contains epoxy fatty acids in its seed oil, contributing its economic and agricultural importance. (Kleiman, 1990.)
Stokesia laevis was originally thought to have a chromosome number of n = 9. (Jones, 1968.) In a later paper, however, Jones revised the number to n = 7 following studies by Gunn and White, postulating that Stokesia and Vernonia may have shared a common genome in the past. (Jones, 1974.)
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Genetic analysis of three generations of Stokesia laevis populations suggests that the flower color is controlled by at least three loci involved with the synthesis of anthocyanins, flavonoids and other pigments. (Barb, Werner & Griesbach. 2008.)
Barcode data: Stokesia laevis
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Stokesia laevis
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Distribution primarily in eastern portion of Gulf coastal plain, from eastern Louisiana (3 parishes) to the Florida Panhandle (3 counties), with a few outlying sites in Georgia and South Carolina. Habitat abundant within the primary range; no information readily found on abundance at its better sites, although said to be generally common in eastern Louisiana.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Stokesia laevis is used in gardens as an ornamental or an insect attractant. Its ability to produce epoxy fatty acids may be of economic importance in the future, especially as renewable sources are more sought after.
Stokesia is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae, containing the single species Stokesia laevis. Common names include Stokes' aster and stokesia. The species is native to the southeastern United States.
The flowers appear in the summer and are purple, blue, or white in nature. The plant is cultivated as a garden flower. Several cultivars are available, including the cornflower blue 'Klaus Jelitto', 'Colorwheel', which is white, turning purple over time, and 'Blue Danube', which has a blue flower head with a white center. More unusual cultivars include the pink-flowered 'Rosea' and yellow-flowered 'Mary Gregory'.
- Stokesia L’Héritier. Flora of North America.
- Stokesia laevis. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
- Stokesia laevis. NatureServe. 2012.
- Stokesia laevis. Missouri Botanical Garden.
- Stokesia laevis. Floridata.
- Cahoon, E. B., et al. (2002). Transgenic production of epoxy fatty acids by expression of a cytochrome p450 enzyme from Euphorbia lagascae seed. Plant Physiology 128(2), 615-24.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Genus is monotypic.
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