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Amsonia tabernaemontana

Common Name(s):
Blue dogbane, Blue star, Blue star flower, Woodland bluestar
Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers

Amsonia tabernaemontana, commonly called Bluestar, is a native herbaceous perennial which occurs most frequently in rich, open woods and thickets. It is an erect, clump-forming plant which features terminal, pyramidal clusters of 3/4", soft 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.

One of our most beautiful native species, Amsonia makes a delicate display from the mountains to the coast. The light blue flowers are followed by elongated, pod-like fruits containing hard, black seeds which can be used for propagation. This plant is resistant to damage by deer

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

           Blooms:   Spring       Foliage: Fall, yellow 

Wildlife Value:  Butterflies feed on the nectar from the blooms.  This plant is highly deer resistant.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Rust may occur.

Sun, part shade
2-3 ft.
Flower Color:
Pale blue
USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9
The Woodland Bluestar features scattered, lance-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped leaves, 2 to 4 in. long. The leaves have a smooth to slightly downy texture. It also produces clustered stems. Has show stopper caution-sign yellow fall color.
The Woodland Bluestar has large, open clusters of numerous star-like pale blue flowers, .75 in. across. The slender corolla tube expands into five narrow, pointed lobes. The flowers may be partially hidden by the uppermost leaves.
This plant is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It prefers moist, loamy soils. It will tolerate 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.
Seed, division spring or fall, cuttings
Full sun to partial shade
Rich, moist soil
Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
North America, North Carolina
Life Cycle:
sun, blue, fall color, cut flower, wildflower, perennial, resistant, deer, partial shade, fall interest, spring, showy

NCCES plant id: 674

Photo of Amsonia tabernaemontana Photo of Amsonia tabernaemontana
Jane, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Amsonia tabernaemontana Amsonia tabernaemontana
Kerry D Woods, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Amsonia tabernaemontana Willow Amsonia