Amsonia tabernaemontana (Blue Star) – a herbaceous plant whose height in adulthood reaches 80-100 cm. It blooms in May-June, forming flowers in the form of small stars.
Amsonia tabernaemontana surprises everyone twice a season: in early summer, when it brings to the compositions a purely blue color inherent in few flowers, and in autumn when the bush becomes like a yellow blazing fire. True, the promised autumn color can not always be observed, it depends on the growing conditions. In particular, its manifestation is favored by hot weather during the summer. The rest of the time, Amsonia serves as a good background for other plants.
A distinctive feature of the plant is also a fairly powerful root, woody with age. In addition, Amsonia tabernaemontana willow has arcuate stems, and young spring shoots have a purple color. The stems are covered with regular, shiny and rather narrow leaves. Their shape is very similar to the shape of willow leaves, due to which these subspecies, in fact, got their name.
The color of the leaves is grayish-green. But after the first frosts descend to the ground in the fall, the leaf changes color to yellow-orange – at this time the plant is very decorative.
The bluish-colored florets have five petals and a star-shaped shape. The shape of the inflorescence is raceme-shaped, and the inflorescence themselves crown the tops of the shoots. In this case, the blue color is found in many shades, which directly depend on the shape of the flower and its variety. By the way, Americans – and the birthplace of this Amsonia tabernaemontana is the United States – call this flower Blue Star, literally – Blue Star.
Cultivation and care
For successful cultivation of Amsonia tabernaemontana, it is necessary to choose a sunny place of growth for it, although even a small shading will not prevent the plant from fully developing and decorating your garden. But keep in mind that if the plant grows under full sunlight, the bush will be more neat and compact.
If you plant an Amsonia tabernaemontana in partial shade, the bush will be spreading, and you will have to tie it anyway to give it a decent look. The plant attracts many butterflies.
Amsonia tabernaemontana quite calmly grows in the same place for many years. It is unpretentious to soils. Moreover, the presence of loam, clay, sand most closely approaches it to the natural growing conditions. For the winter, preventive shelter is necessary in case of little snow in winter.
The soil should be moistened in moderation, but the drainage should be first-class. Soils with at least a small admixture of lime are preferred. Watering should not be too active, but the soil should be moistened continuously.
Reproduction of Amsonia tabernaemontana occurs with the help of seeds and due to the division of the bush. If you decide to propagate the plant with seeds, sowing is best done exclusively for the winter, so that the seeds have time to go through the process of cold stratification for 4-6 weeks, and the day before sowing they should be soaked. When sowing, lightly sprinkle the seeds with earth in a layer of 1-1.5 cm.
If you prefer the method associated with the division of the bush, it is better to deal with it exclusively in the fall.
At the end of flowering, it is necessary to remove the flower stalks to prevent unwanted self-sowing of the plant. In addition, due to such activities, your bushes will look more neat and well-groomed.
Amsonia tabernaemontana in the garden
The rest of the Amsonia tabernaemontana is rare and new guests in our gardens, but, judging by foreign recommendations, Habritt’s Amsonia is no less winter-hardy and undemanding. The latter needs to be mulched for the winter, which will not interfere with other species.
The bush of willow Amsonia holds itself without requiring a garter. To create a bright spot, it is better to plant several pieces next to each other – with a jacket. By the way, aggressive growth and reproduction are absolutely not inherent in it, so its growth is a very slow process. And it is thanks to this that Amsonia tabernaemontana is quite successfully used by gardeners and florists in a wide variety of floral and simply plant compositions.
Best of all, Amsonia tabernaemontana looks not like a single landing, but as a group. It can be used both in flower beds and in curb plantings. Good partners for her will be cornflower, cone, soft cuff, primroses. And another great advantage of amsonia is that it stands in the cut for a very long time.