Amsonia tabernaemontana (Eastern Blue-star)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This native* perennial of floodplain and mesic slope forests, open woodlands, and stream banks has much to recommend it. It is easy to maintain and has showy blue blooms in the spring and attractive foliage color in the fall.

*In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is native to the southern Piedmont and inner Coastal Plan in VA and to limited areas of MD, DE, NJ, and PA.

Print Version (Legal Size): Amsonia tabernaemontana (Eastern Blue-star)Perennial, Height: 2-3 feet Spread: 2-3 feet Bloom color: Blue Characteristics Erect, clump-forming perennial with multiple stems and vase-shaped, shrub-like form Smooth, lance-shaped leaves, 2-4 inches long, emerge lime green and turn bright green Pyramidal clusters of sky blue, star-shaped flowers at tips of stems mid-April to mid-May Pairs of erect, elongated, pod-like fruits, 4-5 inches long contain small black seeds Fall foliage is attractive clear yellow Attributes Nectar source for hummingbirds, bees, moths, and butterflies; larval host for coral hairstreak Milky latex sap from cut stems and foliage may irritate skin; wear gloves when pruning Has no serious post or disease problems Highly deer-resistant; tolerates drought, clay soil Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil requirements: Average, well-drained Light requirements: Sun to part-shade Water requirements: Medium Cut stems by 1/3 to 1/2 after flowering to promote bushy growth. Grows best in sun. Requires staking in shade. Accent plant, massed in borders, butterfly gardens, container plant Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-9 Excellent Replacement for Buddleia davidii - Butterfly Bush
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets.