Stokesia laevis ‘Elf’ 1.5 stars
Flower Description and Bloom Time
Flowers are light blue-lilac to blue-purple and typically bloom in early to mid-summer.
Foliage Interest — Color and Texture
Medium green foliage. Basal growth produced small lance-shaped leaves. Some browning occurred at the edge of leaves later in summer.
Habit and Growth Rate Observations
Plants were truly dwarf in evaluators’ gardens at 5 inches tall and wide.
Site Preference — Soil and Light
Site plants in full sun, fertile, well-drained but moist soil. Winter wet is lethal. Plants will tolerate short periods of drought but one evaluator lost plants that were in a raised bed.
Successes and Possible Drawbacks
Divide plants every three to four years to maintain vigor. Bloom time can be extended with routine deadheading.
Notes from Growers/Retailers
Use with annuals, summer bulbs, annuals, native plant gardens, cottage gardens and butterfly gardens. Because of its dwarf size, it is suitable for the front of the border.
Parting “SHOT” — The overall evaluation results were Poor. 1.5 stars
This plant was evaluated from 2011-2014 at three sites in Chicago’s western and far northwestern suburbs in conditions that ranged from full sun to light shade with average soil. All evaluators recommended the plant. Five of nine plants survived at the end of the trial. Evaluators noted that of three plants, one survived the first winter bud didn’t’ make it through the following summer. At another site, all three plants struggled the second season and were dead by the end of summer.