Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Plant Picks

The plants in this section will be featured for their success rate, beauty, hardiness, fragrance and pest resistance. Make sure to check in from time to time and see what exciting plants and information awaits you!

Amsonia hubrichtii
Blue Star
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apocynaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Native Range: South-central U.S.
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: April - May
Bloom Color: Powdery blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Average
Maintenance: Low

The bluestar, sometimes called Arkansas bluestar or Arkansas amsonia, was discovered in 1940 growing wild in the Ouachita Mountains in central Arkansas by Leslie Hubricht, the plant's namesake. The bluestar is very similar in appearance to the Missouri native Amsonia ciliata, except that the leaves of A. hubrichtii are narrow, thread-like and very soft to the touch.

Amsonia is an erect, clump-forming plant with feathery green summer foliage and bright, golden fall color. Powdery blue star-like flowers appear from late spring to early summer. It may look a little haggard when young, but will soon grow into a dense mass. Too much shade may make this plant become leggy and flop.

Amsonia will thrive in most gardens with little care. It is easy to grow in sun to partial shade and average, well-drained soil. Plus it is deer resistant!

Cutting back the stems to about 6 inches after flowering will help keep the stems upright and result in a nice dense mound of foliage.

Best used in borders, rock gardens, native plant gardens or open woodlands. Most effective when planted in masses.

1 comment:

  1. Last year was a banner year for blooms at the Garden Home Retreat. All the hard work that went into preparing the garden really paid off. I just couldn’t believe all the gorgeous flowers. Here is a list of 10 plants that were real superstars in my garden last year and I plan to plant them again. I recommend you try them as well.
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