This super-attractive, butterfly-drawing herbaceous perennial is small (1-2′ high x 1-2′ wide) with large (2-3 inch) very showy, usually single flowers ranging from cornflower blue (most often) to lavender and even, occasionally, white. The flower structure of Stokes aster reflects its membership in the Aster family: deeply notched blue or lavender ray flowers surround a pincushion center of feathery, lighter disc florets with a distinctly frilly effect. They are supported by stems arising from a semi-evergreen to evergreen basal rosette. Stokes Aster thrives in full sun but may droop some in the afternoon heat. Although accustomed to coastal plain bottomlands and wet savannas, it is said to suffer from wet feet in winter (MoBot) and is apparently adapted to well drained conditions as well. It hales from only a few scattered counties in southern SC, Louisisana, Mississippi, Alabama central Georgia and the panhandle of Florida — and is reported in only one county in NC (Guilford Co., not a coastal plain county!). It is threatened by clearing and logging; conversion of habitat to pine plantations, pastures, and development. Winter hardy to zone 5, well north of its native range.