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Bruso, George H.
Amsonia tabernaemontana Walt.
Eastern bluestar, Blue dogbane, Willow amsonia, Woodland bluestar
USDA Symbol: AMTA2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Anthers yellow-orange. Flowers often partially hidden by uppermost leaves.
AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , 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. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsLight 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.
PropagationDescription: Seed can be sown outside, 1/2 deep, after collection. Seedlings germinate immediately, but flower the second year following germination.
Seed Collection: Long, slender follicles turn tan when they are mature, about 4-5 months after flowering. Corky seeds are cinnamon-brown when mature. Store dried seeds in a sealed, refrigerated container. Can be stored up to four years.
Seed Treatment: For seeds that have been stored, cut an end off the seed and soak in water 2-3 days. This will aid germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DE
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2009-04-18
Research By: TWC Staff