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Amsonia tabernaemontana Walter
Eastern Bluestar, Blue Dogbane, Willow Amsonia, Woodland Bluestar
Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family)
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Ciliate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
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
National Wetland Indicator Status
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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Web ReferenceWebref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Research LiteratureReslit 1100 - Activity of alpha-galactosidase in immobilized cells of Amsonia tabernaemontana Walt (1998) J. Poor
Reslit 1101 - beta-galactosidase in immobilized cells of Amsonia tabernaemontana (1997) J. Poor, V. Blanarikova and A. Klimecky
Reslit 1465 - Anatomical structures of the VA mycorrhiza in the Apocynaceae (Gentianales) (1995) H. C. Weber, A. Klahr and M. MarronHeimbuch
Reslit 2094 - Cell-suspension culture of Amsonia-tabernaemontana Walter - Growth, organogenesis and alkaloid production (1981) M. Furmanowa and L. Rapczewska
Reslit 2095 - Amsonia tabernaemontana Walter (Apocynaceae) in tissue culture--growth and alkaloid production (1977) M. Furmanowa and L. Rapczewska
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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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: 2022-11-10
Research By: TWC Staff