Stokesia laevis

Stokesia laevis (Hill) Greene

Original Published Description:

Greene, E. L. (1893).  Observations on the Compositae. Erythea. 1, 1-4.

Common Names

Stokes' aster

Languages: English

Overview

Taxon Biology

Kingdom Plantae

     Subkingdom Tracheobionta

          Superdivision Spermatophyta

               Division Magnoliophyta

                    Class Magnoliopsida

                         Subclass Asteridae

                              Order Asterales

                                   Family Asteraceae

                                        Tribe Vernonieae

                                             Subfamily Tubiliflorae

                                                  Genus Stokesia

                                                       Species laevis

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

General Description

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

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Description

Diagnostic Description

"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."

John L. Strother.  “Stokesia” in Flora of North America, Vol. 19, pp. 201-202 Oxford University Press, Inc., New York, NY.  2006. 

Author(s): Strother, John
Rights holder(s): Strother, John

Cytology

Stokesia laevis was originally thought to have a chromosome number of = 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.)

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

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.)

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Growth

Stokesia laevis has a medium growth rate. 

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Palynology

According to Wodehouse, Stokesia laevis has echinolophate pollen with surface ridges and prominent spines.  (Skvarla, DeVore & Chissoe, 2005.)

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Chemistry

Stokesia laevis contains epoxy fatty acids in its seed oil, contributing its economic and agricultural importance.  (Kleiman, 1990.)

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Ecology and Distribution

Phenology

Flowers June to September

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Associations

Stokesia laevis attracts a variety of bees, flies, and butterflies, as well as a few species of bird. 

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Distribution

Stokesia laevis is found in the southeastern United States.  It grows from Louisiana east to the Atlantic coast, and south to the tip of Florida. 

For more information, see the map provided by Flora of North America.  (Strother, 2006.)

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Habitat

Open woodlands, coastal plains and bogs

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Life Cycle

Perennial

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Trophic Strategy

Autotroph

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Relevance

Uses

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. 

Author(s): Hamilton, Hayley
Rights holder(s): Hamilton, Hayley

Taxonomy

  • Carthamus laevis Hill (basionym)
  • Cartesia centauroides Cass. (synonym)
  • Carthamus cyaneus Banks ex Steud. (synonym)
  • Stokesia cyanea L'Hér. (synonym)

References

Barb, J. G., Werner D. J., & Griesbach R. J. (2008).  Genetics and Biochemistry of Flower Color in Stokes Aster. Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science. 133(4), 569-578.
Greene, E. L. (1893).  Observations on the Compositae. Erythea. 1, 1-4.
Hill, J. (1768).  Hortus Kewensis: Sistens herbas exoticas, indigenasque rariores, in area botanica, ... Auctore Johanne Hill.
Kleiman, R. (1990).  Chemistry of New Industrial Oilseed Crops.
L'Heritier, C L. (1789).  Sertum Anglicum seu Plantae Rariores quae in Hortus juxta Londinum, Imprimis in Hortus Regio Kewensi Excoluntur.
Samuel B. Jones, J.. (1968).  Chromosome Numbers in Southeastern United States Compositae. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 95(4), 393-395.
Samuel B. Jones, J.. (1974).  Vernonieae (Compositae) Chromosome Numbers. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 101(1), 31-34.
Skvarla, J. J., DeVore M. L., & Chissoe W. F. (2005).  Lophate sculpturing of Vernonieae (Compositae) pollen. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. 133(1-2), 51-68.
Strother, J. L. (2006).  Stokesia. Flora of North America. 19, 201-202. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.
USDA, NRCS. (2010).  The PLANTS Database.