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Arkansas blue star

Flowers of Arkansas blue star.

Arkansas blue star is an usual, upright, narrow perennial grown for its fern-like, feathery foliage, light blue star-shaped small flowers, and beautiful golden yellow fall color. It is native to the central Midwest. 

This plant has some cultivated varieties and related species. Go to list of cultivars.

 

Botanical name:

Amsonia hubrichtii

All Common Names:

Arkansas blue star, Narrow-leaf blue star, Narrow-leaved blue star, Hubreicht's blue star

Family (English):

Dogbane

Family (Botanic):

Apocynaceae

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Perennial

Native Locale:

  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Patio/sidewalk,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Soil Preference:

  • Alkaline soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil

Tolerances:

  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Occasional flooding,
  • Alkaline soil

Season of Interest:

  • Mid spring,
  • Late spring,
  • Early summer,
  • Mid summer,
  • Late summer,
  • Early fall,
  • Mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Blue

Shape or Form:

  • Narrow,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

More Information:

Size

Upright, billowy mounds of thread-like leaves reaching 3 feet high and wide

Tree & Plant Care

Full sun to light shade; does not tolerate heavy shade
Best in well drained soil, but tolerant of dry conditions and temporary wet sites once established
Prefers cooler temperatures
In wet seasons plant may open up in the center so may require staking
Can be cut back in spring for denser growth
Cut back after flowering to remove seed pods

Disease, pests, and problems

None serious

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Deer

Native geographic location and habitat

Found in open fields and dry rocky outcrops in AK, OK, MO

Attracts birds or pollinators

Butterflies, birds

Leaf description

Alternate, soft narrow, 1/16 wide and 3 inches long, asparagus fern-like foliage, light green
Turns a bright yellow-gold in the fall

Flower description

Light blue to almost white, star-shaped terminal flowers

Fruit descriptions

Narrow seed pod appears in pairs

Cultivars & related species and their differences 

Butterscotch Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii 'Butterscotch'): 3 to 4 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide; butterscotch yellow fall color

Lemon Drop Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii 'Lemon Drop'): 3 to 4 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide; lemony yellow fall color

Downy starflower Amsonia (Amsonia cilitata): Compact, 1 to 3 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide; silky, dark green thin leaves; pale blue flowers

Half Way To Arkansas (Amsonia cilitata 'Half Way to Arkansas): 2 to 3 feet high, pale blue flowers; leaves turn a golden yellow with purple-bronze tint

Location of Amsonia hubrichtii (Arkansas blue star) at the Arboretum