Amsonia tabernaemontana var. salicifolia

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: blue star 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apocynaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Pale blue with white throats
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, loamy soils. Tolerates some drought. When grown in full sun, plants often require no pruning or staking though they tend to lean. When grown in some shade and/or in rich soils, however, plants tend to become more open and floppy and often require staking or pruning. For a neater appearance, particularly for shade-grown plants, consider cutting back stems by 1/2 to 1/3 after flowering to promote bushy growth and, if desired, a more rounded foliage mound.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Genus name honors Dr. John Amson (1698-1765?), an English physician and amateur botanist who lived and worked in Williamsburg, Virginia during the colonial period.

Specific epithet honours Jakob Theodor von Bergzabern (d. 1590) who Latinized his name as Tabernaemontanus.


No serious insect or disease problems. Taller plants may require staking, particularly if grown in shade and not pruned after flowering.


An easy-to-grow plant which is best massed in informal settings such as native plant gardens, shade gardens or open woodland areas. Also appropriate for corners of borders.