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Amsonia illustris

Amsonia illustris
Ozark blue star; shining blue star
Amsonia illustris

Common name Ozark blue star; shining blue star
Family apocynaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers light blue (May)
Size 3'
Light sun-part shade
From seed Give cold treatment (6-8 weeks), then germinate at room temperature. Bottom heat may help.
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripensearly October

A blue star whose flowers are quite like those of A. tabernaemontana (which has graced our garden for much longer). The foliage is longer, as are the seedpods (although the odd seeds are quite similar). The fall color on this species is better than on tabernaemontana as the photo at right shows, the golden yellow leaves gleam in the late-October to mid-November garden.
We have two large plants in our garden; the one in full sun appears to have broader leaves than the one that receives part shade - so much so that I confused the latter with A. hubrichtii for a while - but that species has truly thread-like leaves.

Ozark blue star; shining blue star
Newly re-emerging, late April
Amsonia illustris
Late October
Ozark blue star; shining blue star
The narrow-leaved variety, early November

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

See comparative information about amsonias in our garden

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '03 trade. Baggy 35F (7w) - 70F (24%G, 9-19d)
  2. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (9d) - 75F (100%G, 3-5d)
  3. Seed from '08 garden. Baggy 35F (8w) - 75F (80%G, 4-9d)

As with other amsonias, I've found that this one appreciates a warm temperature for germination, after its cold stage.

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