Zone: 3 to 9. Habit: Herbaceous perennial. Family: Apocynaceae. Height: 2 to 3 feet. Spread: 2 to 3 feet. Bloom Color: Blue. Sun: Full sun to part shade. Water: Medium moisture. Maintenance: Low.
Proper name: Amsonia tabernaemontana
General Culture: Easily grown in average, medium-wet, 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.
Noteworthy Characteristics: Bluestar is a Missouri native, herbaceous perennial occuring most frequently in rich, open woods and thickets in the southwestern part of the state. The erect, clump-forming plant features terminal, pyramidal clusters of 3/4", light blue, star-like flowers in late spring atop erect, leafy stems growing 2-3' tall. Narrow, willow-shaped, dull green foliage may turn an attractive yellow in fall.
Uses: This easy-to-grow plant is best massed in informal settings such as native plant gardens, shade gardens, or open woodland areas. Also appropriate for borders.