Also known as springstar, Mexican star and starlikes, this herbaceous perennial is native to Argentina and Uruguay and is a member of the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae, that also includes onion, daffodils, and agapanthus. The plant grows from a bulb and produces a clump of bluish green, grass-like leaves in the fall. The leaves are up to 12″ long and have an onion-like scent when bruised. In early to late spring, multiple 6″ long flowerscapes appear from each bulb bearing a single star-shaped flower. The flowers are 1.5″ across, fragrant, and have 6 white to pale blue or deep purple-blue petals with a darker central vein. Spring starflowers looks especially attractive naturalized in lawns and are also a good choice for walkways and containers, as well as rock and woodland gardens. The origin of the genus name, Ipheion, is obscure. The specific epithet, uniflorum comes from the Latin words unus, meaning one, and Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, referring to the fact that each stem produces only one flower.

Type: Bulbous herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Star-shaped flowers with white to pale blue or deep purple-blue petals in early to late spring

Size: 3-6″ H x 3-6″ W

Light: Full sun to part shade

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed, offset bulblets

Companion Plants: Grecian windflower, stinking hellebore, Italian arum

Outstanding Selections:

‘Album’ (white flowers)

‘Alberto Castillo’ (large, white flowers)

 ‘Froyle Mill’ (deep violet blue flowers)

‘Wisley Blue’ (lilac blue flowers)

Photo Credit: Meneerke bloem Wikimedia Commons

By Karen