Rocky Mountain Plants OR

Rocky Mountain Plants OR

Rocky Mountain Plants

Bluestar is a native herbaceous perennial that is found most often in wet, sandy, rich, open and rocky woods, and thickets. It has an erect, clump-forming growth pattern. Clusters of 3/4", light blue, star-like flowers open in late spring atop erect, leafy stems. Its narrow, willow-shaped, dull green foliage may turn yellow in fall. The plant can be cut close to the ground or left for winter interest.


Selected by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 75 Great Plants for American Gardens, Amsonia tabernaemontana (Blue Star) is an exceptional perennial with early-season blue flowers, attractive summer foliage, a sturdy habit and golden fall color. Amsonia tabernaemontana features clusters of delicate, pale blue, star-shaped flowers borne on erect, sturdy, leafy stems in late spring - early summer. the flowers attract long-tongued insects such as carpenter bees, hummingbird moths, and butterflies. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are also attracted to the nectar. The blossoms rise above a graceful, willow-shaped, upright foliage that pleasantly colors up in the fall. This beauty is also low maintenance, disease and insect resistant, making this eastern U.S. native a first-rate garden plant. 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 that can be used for propagation. This plant is resistant to damage by deer and other herbivores due to the foliage containing a toxic white latex.

Plants bloom for 3-4 weeks in mid-spring to early summer, with many small, pale blue, star-shaped blossoms in loose terminal clusters (branched, flat to pyramidal cymes). Each ¾ inch wide flower has a tubular corolla with 5 spreading lobes that narrow to a point at the tips. The throat of the corolla has a ring of inward-facing white hairs, presumably to keep out ants and other insects that might rob the nectar without pollinating the flowers. Flowers may be visited by ruby-throated hummingbird, carpenter bees and other bees, hummingbird moths (Hemaris spp.), and various butterflies. They last very well as cut flowers.The cultivar ‘Blue Ice’ is usually listed as A. tabernaemontana, but it may be a hybrid with another species. This plant has larger, darker, lavender blue flowers in smaller clusters, is more compact (1-2 feet tall and 2 feet wide) and is only hardy in zones 4-9. (Source: hort.extension.wisc.edu)



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