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Similar but less problematic plants:
Euonymus Euonymus spp.
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Verbena canadensis Verbena canadensis
Baptisia alba Baptisia alba
Baptisia tinctoria Baptisia tinctoria

Bluestar Amsonia ciliata

Phonetic Spelling
am-SO-nee-uh sil-ee-ATE-uh
Description

Blue Star is a clump-forming perennial in the dogbane family that is native to the southeast and west to Texas. It is generally found in sandy soils, where it does best. It typically grows to 1-2’ tall but can be pruned back to 8"-10" above the ground after it flowers to help give it a more compact rounded shape. In addition to its lovely blue spring flowers, the foliage adds an airiness to the garden and then has lovely yellow fall color. For the longest-lasting flowers, give the plant some afternoon shade. Fall color is best when grown in full sun.  The stems may flop with too much shade.

Blue Star prefers sandy very well-drained soils in full sun but will tolerate light shade. To much shade will cause flopping of the flower stem and poor fall color.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease problems.   

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Shade Garden Sitting Wall Shade Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Georgia Pancake'
  • 'Halfway to Arkansas'
    Leaves turn gold in the fall, later than other blue stars
  • var. tenuifolia
    Lower growing with finer texture
Tags:
#showy flowers#fall color#blue#wildlife plant#fine texture#nectar plant#blue flowers#low maintenance#spring flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#NC native#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#rock gardens#borders#spring interest#pollinator plant#native wildflower#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Georgia Pancake'
  • 'Halfway to Arkansas'
    Leaves turn gold in the fall, later than other blue stars
  • var. tenuifolia
    Lower growing with finer texture
Tags:
#showy flowers#fall color#blue#wildlife plant#fine texture#nectar plant#blue flowers#low maintenance#spring flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#NC native#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#rock gardens#borders#spring interest#pollinator plant#native wildflower#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Amsonia
    Species:
    ciliata
    Family:
    Apocynaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, FL, GA, MO, NC, OK, SC, TX
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers attract butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Insect pests, diseases
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Description:
    Seeds are born in narrow, erect follicles that dry and split open as the fruit matures. Appear in pairs.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Individual star-shaped flowers have 5 blue petals and are borne in loose terminal panicles. Blooms in April.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1-2 inches long needle-like green leaves are alternate and sessile. The fall color is an attractive yellow. New leaves have a fringe of hairs hence the common name.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are upright with fine hairs. Have a milky sap when broken
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Insect Pests