Willow Amsonia (Amsonia tabernaemontana)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Willow Amsonia
Give a thumbs up Blue Star
Give a thumbs up Woodland Blue Star
Give a thumbs up Blue Dogbane
Give a thumbs up Eastern Bluestar
Give a thumbs up Woodland Bluestar

Botanical names:
Amsonia tabernaemontana Accepted
Amsonia tabernaemontana var. tabernaemontana Synonym
Amsonia amsonia Synonym
Amsonia glaberrima Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 2 to 3 feet
Plant Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Other: Narrow, willow-shaped, dull green foliage may turn an attractive yellow in fall.
Flowers: Showy
Other: Star-shaped
Flower Color: Blue
Other: Soft light blue
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Suitable for wintersowing
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Awards and Recognitions: Other: 2010 Great Plant Picks award winner


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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 14, 2018 1:33 PM

This Willow Bluestar is native to Missouri to Illinois to New Jersey and southward into Texas & Florida in woods and along riverbanks. It gets its common name from the 5 pale blue petals borne in clusters in late April to early June. My biggest customer has one planted in a bed in part shade and she has me cut the plant down half way in later June after blooming to keep it more compact and not have stems leaning over. It can be left just alone as a big clump that does not need resetting and dividing, but it can be occasionally divided and reset if wanted.The one I have in my backyard I have never cut down and it does fine standing up. When one cuts the stems, it bleeds white milky sap like a milkweed. It is in the Dogbane Family with Dogbane that also does bleed milky sap. It is an easy, low maintenance perennial. It is sold by most native plant nurseries and by a good number of conventional, classic nurseries also. I see it occasionally planted in gardens and landscapes in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 14, 2012 10:04 AM

Bluestar is a beautiful plant for spring flowers, summer foliage, and fall color. Its dense terminal clusters of pale, steel blue, star-shaped flowers appear in late spring and resemble very fine garden phlox heads.

Grown in sun, Bluestar forms a full clump 3 or more feet in height but when grown in the shade, plants are taller and less dense. Summer foliage is willowy and medium green, and fall color is a good rich gold. Give this plant average to good soil. It is long-lived, trouble-free and makes an effective background plant in the garden.

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Posted by clintbrown (Medina, TN - Zone 7b) on Feb 23, 2013 10:35 PM

A very reliable garden plant.

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Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Dec 11, 2016 8:31 AM

A good garden plant for many reasons: blue flowers, fall color, hardy, and care free.
This plant has good germination wintersown.

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Plant Events from our members
Horntoad On March 25, 2015 Bloomed
Weedwhacker On March 27, 2015 Seeds sown
crittergarden On May 12, 2017 Bloomed
gardengus On May 13, 2016 Bloomed
csandt On May 11, 2018 Transplanted
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What is blooming for you right now? by Iluvtobake Jan 24, 2020 6:59 PM 755
Amsonia? by crittergarden Sep 26, 2019 3:06 PM 7
Possible Purple or White Willow? by rhino57 Dec 22, 2016 12:41 PM 5
Help with an ID by luvsgrtdanes Apr 1, 2016 9:13 AM 9
"My Lists", add a link for my plant photo by chickhill May 11, 2014 11:44 PM 47
Do you garden with Wildflowers? Tell us all about it. by frostweed Mar 20, 2014 5:21 PM 130
Looking for the green color by fixpix Dec 16, 2013 4:13 PM 225
Some Favorites Blooming Now by clintbrown Nov 20, 2012 9:42 PM 362
Untitled by Horntoad Mar 29, 2012 6:06 AM 10
Ann's (farmerbell) Gardens by farmerbell Jul 24, 2012 3:33 PM 134

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