Shining Blue Star (Amsonia illustris)

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Willow-like foliage turns yellow in fall. Plants are dense, shrub-like in appearance.
Item #: AMILL
Binomial Amsonia illustris

Shining Blue Star, sometimes called Ozark Blue Star, is a magnificent plant with three seasons of interest.  The clusters of blue flowers appear around Memorial Day and last two to three weeks.  The shiny foliage, with willow-shaped leaves, stays green through summer and turns a brilliant gold in the fall.

At three or more years, the plants can reach between three and four feet tall and be equally wide with a stout, vase shape.  Low-growing plants, like squaw weed (Senecio) and oak sedge (Carex albicans) can be used for weed control in the shade of blue star.

Shining blue star will handle almost any soil from dry clay to moist muck.  Extra fertilizer may cause it to flop over a bit.  It grows best in full sun to a few hours of sun.

It is a low-maintenance plant needing to be cut back to the ground in late winter before new growth occurs in spring.  If height becomes an issue, it can be pruned back a third or a half in mid-summer, and new growth will appear almost immediately.  You will seldom have reason to water this tough, hardy perennial.

Uses:  hummingbirds, butterflies, rain gardens
Bloom time: May - June

Height:  30 - 48"
Space:  36 - 48"

Moisture:  Average to moist                                            
Light:  Sun to light shade

Seed:  Look for ripe seed in September and stratify for 7 weeks.
  • 2,550 seeds per ounce
  • 1 ounce per 70 square feet
  • 35 pounds per acre

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