Useful in a border, at a woodland edge, or in a wildflower garden, the genus Amsonia is made up of about 20 species of clump-forming perennials that bear long-lasting, narrowly funnel-shaped blue flowers that resemble small stars. They bloom from spring to summer. The leaves of some species turn vibrant yellow in the fall, adding another season of interest. The foliage is attractive throughout the growing season, regardless of fall color. Amsonias are native to woodland and grassland in southeastern Europe, Turkey, Japan, and the northeastern and central United States.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsGood fall color in some species. Long-lasting blue flowers. Some are U.S. natives. Skin may be irritated by the milky sap.
CareAmsonias tolerate any moist but well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. They are somewhat drought tolerant.
PropagationDivide in spring. Root softwood or basal cuttings in early summer. Sow seed in a cold frame in spring or autumn using containers.
ProblemsSusceptible to rust.