Sunday, June 8, 2014

Native Plants I Love

Amsonia tabernaemontana (Common Name: Eastern blue star)

Another lovely blue star, this species begins blooming about a week or two later than its cousin Amsonia hubrichtii.  As its common name name would suggest, Amsonia tabernaemontana also features blue, star-shaped flowers that appear in terminal clusters atop stems that reach 2-3 ft. tall. The foliage on this plant, however, resembles willow-leaves, rather than hubrichtii's feathery appearance, and the flowers are a darker blue. 

Close up of flower clusters

Eastern blue star is native to the central and eastern U.S. It can be grown in full sun to part shade. Multiple stems grow from a central core and create a mounding form 2-3 feet wide. We have a handful of these plants interspersed in a bed that contains our serviceberry trees, ornamental grasses, and assorted other native perennials (including Amsonia hubrichtii). The bed gets full sun, we haven't had to water since the first summer we planted it, and there is something cool to look at pretty much all year long.

The two photos above were taken in mid-may. Not sure when the photo below was taken, as it isn't one of mine, but obviously sometime in the fall. Like its relative, this blue star also puts on a fall show.

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