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Amsonia tabernaemontana

Amsonia tabernaemontana



About this cultivar:

Amsonia tabernaemontana, commonly called bluestar, is a Missouri native herbaceous perennial which occurs most frequently in rich, open woods and thickets in the southwestern part of the State. An erect, clump-forming plant which features terminal, pyramidal clusters, soft light blue, star-like flowers in late spring atop erect, leafy stems growing 2-3 foot tall. Narrow, willow-shaped, dull green foliage may turn an attractive yellow in autumn.  The specific epithet honours Jakob Theodor von Bergzabern (d. 1590) who Latinized his name as Tabernaemontanus.

  • Position: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil: Almost any soil, likes wet soils
  • Flowers: May, June
  • Other features: -
  • Hardiness: H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10°C)
  • Habit: Clump forming
  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Height: 60 - 90 cm (2 - 3 ft)
  • Spread: 60 - 90 cm (2 - 3 ft)
  • Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
  • Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Colour: Blue, white, green
  • Goes well with: Geranium, Crocosmia, Rosa

About this genus:

Amsonia are clump-forming perennials with milky sap (containing latex), lance-shaped leaves and terminal panicles of small, starry blue flowers in spring and summer. They are not invasive, easy in any soil or situation, slug and snail resistant, fully hardy, and flower reliably each year. They should be a garden staple! They are named after Charles Amson, an 18th-century physician from Virginia, but are often commonly named Blue Star.

Try them at the front of the border, or use multiple clumps to form ground cover. Good combinations include ground cover plants or clumping plants like Geranium, specifically Geranium psilostemon. The subtle foliage and blue flowers can serve as an attractive foil for more showy plants like Crocosmia or some Roses.