Amsonia tabernaemontana & hubrichtii are hardy perennials native to the Southern and Midwestern U.S. Blue Star plants add summer and fall color to the garden. Buy Amsonia Blue Ice here.
From spring to fall Willow Blue Star Amsonia is an upright mound of green stems lined with narrow, shiny leaves. In late spring or early summer (depending on where you live) clusters of deep violet flower buds form at the stem tips.
These open into blue star-shaped blooms. In the fall, the willowy leaves turn yellow like those of its namesake.
Flower color varies by selection: The dwarf Montana tops out at 2 feet tall and bears blooms of a darker blue than the species. Amsonia t Salicifolia features gray-blue blooms with white centers.
Amsonia Blue Ice is the most compact with a mature height of just 16 inches and a spread of 2 feet. Its periwinkle blue blooms are as pretty in the vase as they are in the border.
Amsonia hubrichtii, commonly called Arkansas Blue Star, differs from A. tabernaemontana in 3 respects: its foliage is thinner and not glossy. It makes up for the lack of sheen by turning a more vibrant gold in autumn.
Amsonia tabernaemontana is a well-behaved and adaptable garden performer. It will bloom profusely in sun or part shade. It will grow well and return reliably year after year in zones 3-9.
It is not fussy about the soil it is planted in. Its fine-leaved stems look right-at-home beside ferns or wildflowers. It will resist the advances of the local deer.
Amsonia plants are most carefree when planted on moist, moderately fertile soil that drains well.
When you consider that the flowers and yellow fall foliage make marvelous additions to flower arrangements, this is a plant you must have in your garden.
Shear the mounds to 6 inches after they finish flowering to keep the plants compact and bushy. Divide the clumps every few years to keep them blooming and to get more of these wonderful plants.