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Amsonia tabernaemontana (Blue Star)

Blue Star, Willow Amsonia, Blue Dogbane, Willow Blue Star, Eastern Bluestar

Amsonia Tabernaemontana, Blue Star, Willow Amsonia, Blue Dogbane, Willow Blue Star, Blue flowers

Selected by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 75 Great Plants for American Gardens, Amsonia tabernaemontana (Blue Star) is an exceptional perennial with early-season blue flowers, attractive summer foliage, a sturdy habit, and golden fall color. Amsonia tabernaemontana features clusters of delicate, pale blue, star-shaped flowers on erect, sturdy, leafy stems in late spring – early summer. The flowers attract long-tongued insects such as carpenter bees, hummingbird moths, and butterflies. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are also attracted to the nectar. The blossoms rise above a graceful, willow-shaped, upright foliage that pleasantly colors up in the fall. This beauty is also low maintenance, disease and insect resistant, making this eastern U.S. native a first-rate garden plant.

  • Clump forming, Blue Star grows up to 24-36 in. tall and wide (60-90 cm). It will slowly increase in size over time without becoming invasive.
  • Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Thrives in loamy, moist soils (but not soggy)! Once established, this plant is somewhat drought tolerant.
  • Undemanding and virtually pest-free and disease-free, Blue Star is a welcomed addition to borders, shade gardens, prairie plantings, or cottage gardens. Best visual impact in mass plantings.
  • Deer resistant, clay tolerant.
  • If grown in full sun, this plant will not require staking or pruning. In part shade, this plant tends to flop. Therefore, it will need to be pruned or staked. Cut back by 30% to 50% after flowering to maintain shape, prevent the plant from flopping over, and promote bushy growth.
  • Contact with the milky sap may cause skin irritation.
  • Native to the USA

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Apocynaceae
Genus Amsonia
Common names Amsonia, Bluestar
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Clay Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Amsonia ciliata (Fringed Blue Star)
Amsonia tabernaemontana var. salicifolia (Eastern Blue Star)
Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ (Blue Star)
Amsonia tabernaemontana ‘Storm Cloud’ (Blue Star)
Amsonia hubrichtii (Narrowleaf Bluestar)

Recommended Companion Plants

Anemone sylvestris (Snowdrop Anemone)
Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern)
Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ (Sage)
Centranthus ruber (Red Valerian)
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (Feather Reed Grass)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

A Fabulous Perennial Planting Idea
Stunning Blue Flowers to Enhance Your Garden’s Beauty
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Apocynaceae
Genus Amsonia
Common names Amsonia, Bluestar
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Clay Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Amsonia (Bluestar)
Guides with
Amsonia (Bluestar)
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