Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Amsonia tabernaemontana

Eastern bluestar, Blue dogbane, Willow amsonia, Woodland bluestar

Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family)

Amsonia tabernaemontana (Eastern bluestar)
Bruso, George H.
Eastern bluestar is a 1-3 ft., erect-stemmed perennial forming large, multi-stemmed clumps. The smooth stems are crowded with narrow, oval leaves which turn golden-yellow in the fall. Blue, tubular flowers, the rim flaring to a star-shape, appear in loosely conjested clusters at the tips of the stems.

The species name commemorates the 16th-century German herbalist Jakobus Theodorus Tabernaemontanus. Greek apocynum noxious to dogs. Distasteful.

Image Gallery:

8 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Ciliate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Anthers yellow-orange. Flowers often partially hidden by uppermost leaves.


USA: AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MA , MS , MO , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: MD & s.e. VA to s. IL & infrequently to KS, s. to FL & e. TX
Native Habitat: Wet, sandy sites in thin woods & on plains.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet to moist, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: This species should be cut back after flowering. Blue star has naturalized northeast as far as Massachusetts. A similar species, A. illustris, occurs inland from MO & KS to TX.

Last Update: 2013-09-09