Amsonia 'Blue Ice'
Common Name: blue star 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apocynaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Dark lavender blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Deer


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, loamy soils. Best fall foliage color usually occurs in full sun, but flowers generally last longer if given some afternoon shade in hot sun areas. Taller plants may appreciate some staking or support. If grown in too much shade, stems may open up and flop.

This compact cultivar does not need to be cut back after flowering, and generally requires no staking or support when grown in full sun to part shade. Stems may open up and flop in too much shade, however.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Amsonia is a genus of about 20 species native to light woodlands or grasslands of Southeast Europe, Turkey, Japan, and Central and Northeast United States. They are clump-forming perennials with narrow, alternate leaves and clusters of blue, 5-petaled flowers.

Genus name honors 18th-century Virginian physician Dr. Charles Amson.

'Blue Ice' is a bluestar cultivar that is very similar in appearance to A. tabernaemontana, except it is much more compact and produces darker blue flowers. This is an erect, clump-forming plant that features terminal, pyramidal clusters of star-like, dark lavender-blue flowers (3/4” across) in late spring atop erect, leafy stems growing to only 15-18” tall. Narrow, willow-shaped, dark green foliage turns an attractive bright yellow in fall. Although ‘Blue Ice’ was reportedly discovered growing with A. tabernaemontana seedlings in a greenhouse at White Flower Farm, the parentage has apparently not yet been definitively determined.


No known serious insect or disease problems. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Borders, rock gardens, cottage gardens or open woodland areas. Best when massed.

Compact size also enables use as an edging plant.