Stokesia laevis (Hill) Greene
Original Published 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.
"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."
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.)
Stokesia laevis has a medium growth rate.
According to Wodehouse, Stokesia laevis has echinolophate pollen with surface ridges and prominent spines. (Skvarla, DeVore & Chissoe, 2005.)
Stokesia laevis contains epoxy fatty acids in its seed oil, contributing its economic and agricultural importance. (Kleiman, 1990.)
Ecology and Distribution
Flowers June to September
Stokesia laevis attracts a variety of bees, flies, and butterflies, as well as a few species of bird.
Open woodlands, coastal plains and bogs
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.
- Carthamus laevis Hill (basionym)
- Cartesia centauroides Cass. (synonym)
- Carthamus cyaneus Banks ex Steud. (synonym)
- Stokesia cyanea L'Hér. (synonym)