Saturday, January 21, 2012

Planting and Growing the Eastern Bluestar

Also known as the woodland bluestar, the blue dogbane, or the willow amsonia, this native is a member of the dogbane family of plants. It is botanically known as Amsonia tabernaemontana.

Easter Bluestar Description

It grows one to three feet high on an erect smooth stem. There are narrow green leaves that turn gold-yellow in the fall with an oval shape. Flowers are blue, tubular, with a star-shaped rim. They are in clusters at the end of the stems, blooming from March to May. Flower anthers are yellow-orange. The leaves on the uppermost part of the plant may shield eastern bluestar's blooms. It is a perennial.

Eastern Bluestar Growing Guide

This native prefers to grow in partial shade with a moist or wet soil. Propagate by seed. Sow seed 1/2 inch deep either directly after collection or after being dried and stored. Collect seed about four to five months after flowering. Eastern bluestar seed is in tan long follicles and is cinnamon-brown in color. Store seed in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four years. After storing seed will need to have a two to three day water soak to aid in germination.

Distribution of Eastern Bluestar

This native is seen in the plains or wooded areas of the states of Alabama, Delaware, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Eastern bluestar is a cute little native flower that works well in wildflower gardens or prairie gardens, wherever there is a moist spot in the landscape that you'd like some delicate-looking blooms to grow. As a perennial, it is a flower that you can plant once and enjoy years of growth.


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