Common Bluestar, Amsonia tabernaemontana

Common Bluestar

Amsonia tabernaemontana

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Late spring/Early Summer
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Medium
Color: Blue
Fragrance: No
Height: 2-3 feet
Spacing: 2-3 feet

Common BluestarAmsonia tabernaemontana, is a Missouri native herbaceous perennial which occurs most frequently in rich, open woods and thickets. An erect, clump-forming plant which features terminal, pyramidal clusters of 3/4", soft light blue, star-like flowers in late spring atop erect, leafy stems growing 2-3 feet tall. Narrow, willow-shaped, dull green foliage may turn an attractive yellow in fall.

The blooming period occurs from mid-spring to early summer and lasts about a month. Each fertilized flower is replaced by a pair of cylindrical follicles that are about 4-5 inches long. The follicles are glabrous and erect to ascending. Each follicle contains a single row of small cylindrical seeds; it splits along one side to release them. The root system consists of a taproot. This wildflower spreads by reseeding itself.

Habitats include rocky woodlands, shaded rocky ravines, gravelly seeps, borders of streams, limestone glades, and moist sandy meadows. Because of its attractive foliage and flowers, Common Bluestar is occasionally cultivated in gardens, from which it can escape.

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, loamy soils. Tolerates some drought. When grown in full sun, plants often require no pruning or staking. When grown in some shade and/or in rich soils, however, plants tend to become more open and floppy and often require staking or pruning. For a neater appearance, particularly for shade-grown plants, consider cutting back stems by 1/2 to 1/3 after flowering to promote bushy growth and, if desired, a more rounded foliage mound.

 Further Information

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