Amsonias, or bluestars, are perennial wildflowers found in wooded areas and on river banks from New Jersey to Tennessee to Texas, and they are popular garden plants as well. Blooming in May and June, each flower has five pale blue flower petals and blooms in clusters on two- to three-foot stems. The upright stems with narrow leaves are attractive all summer and turn a beautiful butterscotch-yellow in the fall.

How to grow: Plants are easy to grow in full sun or partial shade, in any reasonably fertile garden soil. They are somewhat tolerant of dry soil. They will self-sow, with seedlings becoming bushy clumps in a few years.

Propagation: By division in the early spring.

Uses: Bluestars belong in any wild garden and look good in groups of three or more in mixed borders and flowerbeds.

Related species: Amsonia hubrichtii is a similar but smaller plant. Its very slender leaves turn shades of gold and burnt-orange in fall, so it is planted in feathery masses for fall color.

Scientific name: Amsonia tabernaemontana

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