Stokesia laevis 'Mary Gregory'
I have no idea why this 'Stokes Aster' is flowering in the middle of winter. Not just one plant but several in different locations. The original species, a cornflower like flower in blue or purple, is native to the south eastern United States and I assume this yellow variety is of garden origin. I have grown it for a few years now and it has been very slow to increase in clump size, so after all this time I still only have half a dozen or so plants. Stokesia is a fairly tough perennial and will grow well in sun but prefers a sheltered semi shaded position. Its root system is large and vigorous and perhaps for this reason it has not become a widely known commercially available nursery plant. It needs a large pot to accommodate the root system and the water hungry roots dry out the container quickly. In a garden bed the roots go deep in search of water thus making it an easy to grow and maintain plant.