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Blue Star
by Bob Hill - posted 08/02/13

Easy to grow, providing three seasons of strong interest and serving as an airy focal point in the perennial border, or in a great mass, the blue star (Amsonia hubrichtii) should be used more often in Midwestern gardens.

First found growing in the wild in Arkansas in the 1940s, blue star’s name comes from its flowers — powdery blue with a hint of silver glaze. In summer, its upright, feathery green foliage will grow to 3 feet; you’ll want to reach over and pet it. Then in autumn, the foliage turns a brilliant gold, adding to the seasonal charm.

All blue star requires is average soil and full to part sun. Cut it back to the ground in early spring and watch it rise again. 

Common name: Blue star, Arkansas amsonia

Botanical name: Amsonia hubrichtii

Flowers: Powdery blue; star shaped

Foliage: Upright feathery, bright feathery green

Size: 2 to 3 feet tall; will spread as wide in time

Exposure: Full to part sun; foliage will flop in shade.

Soil: Average, well drained

Watering: Average needs

Pruning: Cut back to ground in late fall or early spring.

In Your Landscape: Perennial border, open areas

From Indiana Gardening Volume III Issue IV. Top right and bottom photos courtesy of Walter’s Gardens; Top left photo Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.

 


Bob Hill is owner of Hidden Hill Nursery and Sculpture Garden in Utica. See hiddenhillnursery.com or e-mail him at farmerbob@hiddenhillnursery.com.