Amsonia tabernaemontana
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Amsonia tabernaemontana Eastern Bluestar



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Eastern Bluestar emerges early in the spring, sending out vibrant, lime green leaves that darken as the season progresses. In April, rich blue flowerbuds begin to form at the stem tips, making a grand show as each tiny bloom bursts open to reveal porcelain blue petals. The tiny, starry blossoms are often massed together and can appear as a much larger flower. As these fade, the seedpods elongate and point straight up, becoming upright accents in this strongly mounded plant. The narrow leaves turn a striking yellow in the fall. 

Amsonia tabernaemontana grows well in moist, sunny sites. It is quite tolerant of most conditions, but the flower display is definitely more impressive in full sun. This beautiful plant grows more distinguished with age, averaging a 3 ft. by 3 ft. mound after a few years. It is native from New York to Florida, Illinois to Texas. 

Part of the Dogbane family, deer and rabbits won't bother Eastern Bluestar, but Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Large Carpenter Bees, Hummingbird Moths, and a myriad of butterflies will flock to this shrub-like plant. It is a host plant for the Coral Hairstreak caterpillar. Other common names: Blue Dogbane, Willow Amsonia, and Woodland Bluestar

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Potted 3-PacksN/A September 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep pots

3 Questions asked on Amsonia tabernaemontana






Q Camilla Herold • March 9 Does this variety's foliage turn yellow/gold in fall like Amsonia Hubrichtii?
A Prairie Moon • March 10 Hi Camilla, Yes, like its cousin Ozark Bluestar, this Amsonia turns yellow in the fall.
Q Melissa • September 8 Is this species native to southeastern Michigan? (The range map is missing on this species.)
A Prairie Moon • September 9 Hi Melissa, No, the heart of this species' native range is in the Southeastern US, and it doesn't quite make it up into Michigan.
Q Andy • August 27 There's an old stand of eastern bluestar in my yard here in MN. It's in the shade and doesn't really flower, so I'd like to divide part of it off to a more sunny spot. Would it do okay with Spring division, or would that hurt it? Thanks.
A Prairie Moon • August 29 Hi Andy - as long as they are fully dormant, either a spring or fall division will be a safe time to divide and transplant your Eastern Bluestar.
SEED:

Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

DORMANT BARE ROOT PLANTS:

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

POTTED PLANTS:

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants


iDetails

Seeds/Packet
25
Seeds/Ounce
1,400
Germination Code
C(60)
Life Cycle
Perennial
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium-Wet, Medium
Height
3 feet
Bloom Time
April, May, June
Bloom Color
Blue
Advantages
Deer Resistant Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
4-9
Plant Spacing
2-3'
Catalog Number
AMS02F