Amsonia tabernaemontana (Eastern Bluestar)

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCsWetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Where Commonly Found: Meadows, fields, shores of rivers and lakes, wetlands, MA, NY.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Amsonia tabernaemontana
Missouri Botanical Garden Site for Amsonia tabernaemontana.  Click on more images.

Flower Color:  Steel blue.
Flower Type:   Radially symmetrical with petals fused into a cup or tube, 5 stamen.  Each flower is .5″-.75″ across with a tubular corolla of 5 spreading lobes, star-like, and a short calyx with 5 rectangular teeth,
Flower Time:  May
Leaf Arrangement:  Alternate, one leaf per node along the light green stem.
Leaf Type: Simple, entire leaves, bright green and glabrous on upper surface and pale green under, with no teeth or lobes, ovate to narrowly ovate, 6″ long and 2.25″ wide.
Height:  2′-3”
Seed Collection:  Thin follicles turn tan when mature with corky cinnamon colored seeds.  Dry and store in  sealed container in the refrigerator.  Good for 4 years.

Attracts:  Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Use:  Garden
Light:  Full Sun to Full Shade
Hardiness Zone:  3 to 9   USDA Zone Map
Soils:  Dry to Moist
Notes:  A beautiful and versatile perennial that, like Baptisia australis, gives a shrub-like appearance and is a nice addition to any garden setting.  Though not particularly attractive to bees, Bluestar draws in many butterflies and moths.
Introduced and naturalized in NY, MA native to lower Midwest and South:  Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).

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