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Amsonia (am-SOH-nee-uh)

Common Name:  Willow blue star

Light:  - Full sun to part shade

Soil:  Average to rich, moist and slightly well-drained

Moisture:  Average to somewhat moist

Blooms:  Early summer

Zones:  4 - 8


Amsonia hubrichtii

Amsonia in the fall

Amsonia Description and Cultural Information

Amsonia hubrichtii, Arkansas blue star. 24 - 36". This Southern native has fine, needlike foliage with clusters of pale blue star-shaped flowers in early summer. In the fall the foliage turns a brilliant golden yellow.

Amsonia tabernaemontana, willow blue star. 24 - 30". Blue star is grown more for its foliage and habit than for its flowers. It has bright green, lance-shaped foliage that turns brilliant gold in the fall. In early summer it produces small clusters of blue, star shaped flowers for about 2 weeks. Plants are long-lived but slow growing and non-invasive, becoming a 2 - 3' clump.

How to Grow:  Amsonia is native to moist woods and banks but is easy to grow in just about any soil in full sun to part sun. It prefers regular moisture and feeding but is also drought tolerant. Propagation can be done by seed or from divisions taken in spring or fall.

Landscape uses:  Use blue star wherever you need an accent in the garden. It works well as a transitional planting along pathways or between the sunny and shady parts of the garden. Plant it as a backdrop to silver or blue plants such as artemisia and scabiosa, or plant it with dark foliage perennials such as Sedum or Heuchera where the yellow fall color will provide a bold accent.

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