A Blue Star Is Born
Amsonia tabernaemontana, that is, commonly known as Blue Star because of its star-shaped blue flowers in May and June.
This is a plant that starts out small but gets quite hefty with time. The one in the front gets almost four feet high and three feet across. Flopping can be a problem after the flowers are done, and I have tried various strategies to keep this guy reasonably upright. Currently I am using a metal rod and green twine.
Other than flopping, this is a plant that requires very little attention. Blue Star has a native range that stretches from Massachussets to Illinois and Kansas, south to Florida and Texas.
Before planting this Blue Star, you should feel pretty confident about where you are putting it. After a couple of years it shall not be moved, as the song says.
Once the flowers are done, the Blue Star foliage adds a finely textured element to the flowering border. The leaves are narrow and almost willow-like.
Blue Star grows well in full sun or part shade. A Blue Star variety, ‘Blue Ice’, is growing in my lightly shaded back garden. This variety is much more compact. The flowers are a deeper lavender blue, as opposed to the light sky blue of the species. These are newer plants and have not yet achieved their full size.
A. tabernaemontana should not be confused with Arkansas Blue Star, A. hubrichtii. This plant has even finer foliage, almost needle-like, and striking fall color. Some claim that A. tabernaemontana also have strong fall color but that has not been my experience.
Do you have Blue Star or Arkansas Blue Star in your garden?