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Bruso, George H.
Amsonia tabernaemontana Walter
Eastern bluestar, Blue dogbane, Willow amsonia, Woodland bluestar
USDA Symbol: amta2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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.
, 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
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:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
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, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff