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Plant Profile: Eastern Blue Star (Amsonia tabernaemontana var salicifolia)

amsonia-tabernaemontana-var-salicifoliaNative to eastern US from New Jersey to Florida and west to the Mississippi River , this herbaceous perennial is a member of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) that also includes perwinkle, oleander, and frangipani. It forms a clump of dark stems that bear medium green, laneolate, willow-like leaves that turn yellow in the fall. The five petaled starry flowers are ½” to ¾” across and carried in loose terminal panicles. They are light blue with white throats and appear from mid- spring to early summer.

Type: Herbacious perennial

Bloom: Pale blue starry flowers ½” – ¾” across with five petals, in loose terminal panicles, from mid-spring to early summer

Size: 24’ H x 16” W

Light: Full sun; tolerates some shade but may become floppy.

Soil: Fertile, moderately moist, well-drained; tolerates some drought once established

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Care: Cut back after flowering for fresh foliage

.Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed, division in spring, softwood cuttings in early summer

Companion plants: Red valerian, Shasta daisy, peonies, dusty miller, lamb’s ear