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Amsonia ciliata (Fringed bluestar)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Amsonia ciliata

Amsonia ciliata Walter

Fringed Bluestar, Bluestar, Texas Bluestar

Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The blue star plant grows 15-24 inches tall. The leaves are borne singly, but very close together all the way up the stem to the flower cluster. They are 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long, with one vein running lengthwise down the center and attached directly to the main stem (without a petiole). The leaves are smooth, soft, and slightly smaller toward the upper part of the stem. The narrow tube of the pale blue flower, 1/2 inch long, opens into 5 petal-like lobes in a star shape l/2 inch across, with a ring of white at the center. Several blossoms grow in a loose cluster at the tips of the stems.


From the Image Gallery

50 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Flower: Flowers 1 inch

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , MO , NC , OK , SC , TX
Native Distribution: NC to FL, w. to MO & TX
Native Habitat: Dry, open woods; chalky hills

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy loam or limestone. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Limestone-based.
Conditions Comments: This plant becomes aggressive in rich, garden soil. It does need some summer water. To keep blue star erect and bushy, cut it back after it has flowered.


Use Ornamental: Fringed bluestar is a long-lived perennial grown for its handsome foliage and spring flowers. The multi-stemmed clumps, to 3 ft. tall, are crowded with smooth, narrow, light-green leaves giving the plant a fine-textured, delicate appearance. Steel-blue, tubular flowers, the rim flaring to a star-shape, appear in loosely conjested clusters at the tips of the stems. The thin seedpods and golden fall foliage are additional attributes.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Propagation Material: Root Division
Description: Seed can be sown outside, 1/2" deep, after collection. Seedlings germinate immediately, but flower the second year following germination. For seeds that have been stored, cut an end off the seed and soak in water 2-3 days. This will aid germination. R
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0505 Collected Apr. 11, 1992 in Kendall County by Lottie Millsaps

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


Bibref 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
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

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Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Research Literature

Reslit 1154 - Typification of names of temperate North American plants proposed by Linnaeus (2009) J. L. Reveal and C. E. Jarvis
Reslit 1618 - Flavonol glycosides of Amsonia ciliata (1974) L. E. Urbatsch and T. J. Mabry
Reslit 2625 - Performance of 67 native midwestern US perennials in a low-maintenance landscape (2004) A. L. Thomas, D. Schrock

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Amsonia ciliata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Amsonia ciliata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Amsonia ciliata


Record Modified: 2022-11-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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