Eastern bluestar, Blue dogbane, Willow amsonia, Woodland bluestar
USDA Symbol: amta2
USDA Native Status:
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Ciliate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Anthers yellow-orange. Flowers often partially hidden by uppermost leaves.
DistributionUSA: 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.
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 Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Amandas Garden - Springwater, NY
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
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Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Amsonia tabernaemontana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Amsonia tabernaemontana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Amsonia tabernaemontana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff