blue; October - December; spring summer
sun; roof gardens; damp sun; wildlife insects carpenter bees; narrow spaces;
grassland; woodland forest; ponds and wetland; coastal kzn
Highveld; thicket; Subtropical East Coast
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Aristea ecklonii has dark green sword shaped leaves about 60 cm in height and even when not in flower, is a good form plant for the front and middle section of the bed. Winter through summer sees deep blue stars appear on long stalks above the leaves. Its common name of Blue Stars is a perfect description of its lovely flowers. Aristea grows naturally in areas with reasonably good rains in forest margins and grasslands and is often found in marshy areas and wetlands. This is not to say that the Aristea won’t flower happily in a normal garden bed. As long as they do receive some water, the Blue Stars will cope perfectly well with a normal garden situation. In fact, plants will often do well where they are seeded in an unfavourable situation, as they learn to cope with those conditions from the start. species do well in the sun as well as semi-shade, although the flowers of the Aristea close when the light conditions are too low, and each one opens for only a day. New buds are always waiting in the wings to take over the display which continues for a few months of the year. Plants are undemanding as long as rains are sufficient, Some texts give the flowering season for Aristea ecklonii from Oct-Dec, others covering the Eastern Cape and KZN regions find it flowers on and off from August through to March.