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Eastern Bluestar Amsonia tabernaemontana


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Eastern Bluestar
credit: Jerrry Oldenettel/CCSA

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Alternate name: Blue Dogbane

Family: Apocynaceae, Dogbane view all from this family

Description Native perennial. Height: 1-4 ft. Habit: erect, bushy, alternate. Leaf: narrow, lanceolate or oval, smooth edged, to 4" long; yellow-gold autumn color. Flower: pale blue, 5-pointed stars, held in loose clusters up to 3/4" across.

Flower mid-spring to early summer.

Flower March - May

Habitat Well-drained hydric soils: meadows, plains, stream banks, open forests. Now found in cultivation.

Range Native to southeast U.S. and lower Midwest, west to Texas and Kansas. Now found naturalized north to New York and Massachusets.

Discussion Also known as: bluestar, blue dogbane, willow amsonia.

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.

Exposure Preference Sun to partial sun.

Native Distribution Maryland & s.e. Virginia to s. Illinois & infrequently to Kansas, s. to Florida & e. Texas

Site Preference Wet, sandy sites in thin woods & on plains

Soil Preference Wet to moist, sandy soils.