I Am the Star in Every Garden

Perennial Of The Week: Amsonia

Often called “Blue Star,” the herbaceous perennial known as Amsonia is a stellar performer in full sun to partial shade. Amsonia is at its best in mid- to late spring as well as autumn. In the spring it produces striking clusters of star-shaped, five-petaled flowers that range from pale blue to deep purple. These easy-to-grow plants perform an encore of sorts when their lovely foliage turns gold under the autumn sun.

Most forms of Amsonia produce narrow, deep green leaves that grow in an alternate pattern on multiple stems. Gardeners who like to select native species will be glad to learn that Amsonia is native to the southern and central United States and grows in Europe, Turkey, and Japan.

Plants grown in full sun will need no extraordinary attention, while those grown in shadier locations may require staking or light pruning after they flower to encourage a more mound-like growth habit.

Birds and butterflies will visit your Amsonia plantings, while deer will generally remain disinterested. We recommend growing Amsonia in well-drained soil; however, these plants can tolerate some drought.

Keep in mind that Amsonia is known to turn heads when grown in masses.

Four varieties of Rohsler’s Grown Amsonia are now available for sale at our nursery. That means these plants have been grown and tended with expert care right here in Bergen County so they will perform well when they are properly situated in your garden.

  • Amsonia hubrictii grows two to three feet tall and can reach four feet in width. Its narrow bundles of upswept, needlelike leaves are unlike those of other varieties of Amsonia, and this plant’s powder blue flowers are a welcome sight in its native habitats in the mountains of Arkansas. This variety is named for Leslie Hubricht, who encountered it in the 1940s. It has a beautiful yellow-golden fall color.
  • Amsonia blue ice is a compact plant that is well-suited to garden borders. Blue ice grows one to one-and-a-half feet tall, and does not need pruning. Its blooms are a deep, dark purplish blue, and harmonize well with the plant’s dark green foliage. Come autumn, this plant’s leaves turn a lovely shade of saffron.
  • Amsonia tabernaemontana‎ var. salicifolia produces clusters of pale blue star-shaped blossoms with white throats. This showy form of Amsonia tends to grow two to three feet tall. Native to the southern portion of the United States, this perennial is perfect for cottage gardens.
  • Amsonia illustris, or “Shining Blue Star,” is named for its glossy leaves and light blue blooms. These plants grow between two and four feet tall, and are known to attract butterflies, particularly Swallowtails. This beauty also goes by the name of Ozark Blue Star, since this plant is native to the Ozark Mountains.

If you’ve never seen Amsonia, stop by Rohsler’s today to learn how these incredible American native plants can lend their own brand of star-power to your yard. If you are looking for a low maintenance, deer resistance plant with beautiful spring flowers and stunning fall color this is the plant for you! We look forward to seeing you soon.

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