Saturday, December 27, 2008

Love those Amsonias Pt. 2, Amsonia hubrichtii, Arkansas Bluestar

I meant to include the link to an informative site on amsonias in my last post. On my way to finding it, I found an interesting site, which can explain the confusion about different amsonias. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture there are lots of varieties. Check it out by clicking on the link. I haven't found the original site, but the Virginia Cooperative Extension has a helpful article on Amsonia tabernaemontana.  The one in my previous post was in full sun. OK, I found the site, but it was a pdf.  I am giving you the html version, and you can click on the link there, if you want the pdf.  It's Rick Darke's Amsonia in Cultivation.

I found Arkansas bluestar, Amsonia hubrichtii, at our Statewide Arboretum's plant sale.  They have chosen this plant for their perennial of the year.  There is some good information about it on the GreatPlants web page.  Just scroll down; it's right after the shrub of the year.

On May 3, the Amsonia hubrichtii, was just peeking through its spot on the east side of the house, where it was protected from the hot west sun.  To its left is a liatris that it likes to sprawl on in the summer.

By May 19, the plant had flowers forming.  (Clicking on these pics will make them larger.)

This photo was taken June 3.  Aren't the flowers pretty? Yes, it has supports, because it is so close to other plants. You can also see long slender seed pods.

By June 8, the plant appears to be finished blooming and is covered with seed pods.

June 18, I must have just given the plant this trim.  When cut, a milky substance leaks out, which can be irritating to the skin.  It looks like there is a bonus, my shadow, in this picture.  In the back, by the house had been a pampas grass my husband insisted on planting when our neighbor offered it to us when we were first digging that bed.  I had been waiting for him to dig it out, as it was getting huge, and I didn't think our yard was big enough for it.  I finally took matters into my own hands, and couldn't believe how easy that thing was to dig out.  I think it's because that wasn't a good place for it.  I put it by the curb, and someone took it to plant in their yard. So, it looks like some of these plants in the pic are still adjusting.

Here, on July 6, you can see the nice regrowth.  That's moonbeam coreopsis blooming on the right.

August 4.  The black-eyed Susans in the back got a disease on their leaves, but bloomed well anyway.  

September 7:

September 25.  The asters have finally finished teasing, and opened their buds.

October 25:

November 14:

December 16:


 Again, I'm still in love!  (I'll be ready for spring soon, though.) I am adding one more link, and that's to Cameron's post that includes this amsonia.  Her blog is Defining Your Home Garden.


  1. Thanks for the links and I so enjoy your photos, especially when I enlarge them and can see the blooms and seed pods so well.

  2. Thanks, Mildred. One of these days, I'd like to figure out how to get larger pics in my posts. Have a good day!

  3. Sue,

    You really captured the amsonia through all the stages of beauty! Great photos. It is such a wonderful companion plant, isn't it.

    Don't worry about posting larger photos -- the click to enlarge works great.


  4. Lovely pictures sue....some of these plants i have not seen. I love the picture of snow too.
    In one of my posts i had written to you about the school i went to as you had asked me. do check out.

  5. That Bluestar is the kind I have growing in my garden. I see it advertised in all the catalogs but was fortunate to get it at a plant show. I love those plant shows! I had no idea there were so many types. I am going to find more since this is such a good performer. Thanks for all the good information.

  6. Dear Sue,
    The amsonia is a very nice looking plant. Do butterflies like it?
    I will check out the links. Thanks.
    Have a wonderful New Year's Eve!
    Looking forward to 2009 and getting to know you and your garden better.

  7. I've really enjoyed seeing these photos of your garden through several seasons. Any plant named perennial of the year is probably going to be a winner!


  8. Thanks Cameron, I went back and put a link to your post that included amsonia.

    Nitsu, We do see plants that are different in each others' gardens, and some that are the same. What fun! I am looking forward to reading more about your school.

    Tina, I like to buy lots of plants from the Spring Affair I left the link for. They have lots of plants there, and they have been grown in our state. I'm glad you liked the information.

    Sherry, or Naaste, Sherry, Is Naaste part of your name, or a greeting? I'm glad you like the amsonias. They bloom early in the spring, and I don't remember how many butterflies are around then. I'll be paying more attention now that I became interested in photographing them the middle of this past summer. Thanks for the nice comments.

    Amy, I'm glad you like these photos. I didn't know about the "title" until looking around for information. I think this plant deserves the title. I hope you are continuing to heal well from your surgery.

    Happy New Year,

  9. I love how you have documented the changes in your flowers and plants.

  10. Hi!
    Beautiful garden and plants! I love that Amsonias! I'll have to see if they have them around here. I am in zone 5. Thanks for stopping by my place. You asked about the Trumpet Vine, if I have it planed in my garden. Yes, it's in my garden, but I didn't plant it. It came up from somewhere, don't know where. And yes it is very invasive.


  11. I love the fact that you showed this plant during the different months. that is so great to look at. How terrific Amsonia not only flowers, but has seed pods.

  12. I've read lots of good things about Amsonia this past blogging year, and will have to check it's hardiness.
    I love your photos through the different stages. Those blue flowers are so pretty!
    Thanks for the Christmas wishes. I hope you enjoyed a merry Christmas with your family, and that the new year will bring happiness and many blessings.
    Your husband has a great website. Love his photos!

  13. Thanks Darla, I am having fun going back and looking at my flowers different times of the season. It's my winter gardening.

    Sherrie, I forgot where you live, but they do grow in zone 5. One of the articles I gave a link to was in Virginia. Keep us posted on your trumpet vine.

    Philip, Thanks for stopping by. I like to click on commenters' links to see their blogs, but I didn't get to one for you. Do you have one? Come back any time, blog or no blog.

    Kerri, It's either zone 4 or 5. The links in my post give more information like that. Larry was tickled when I read him what you wrote about his website and photos.

    Again, happy blogging new year!

  14. Sue, I am not familiar with Amsonias so this has been a really educational post, and I appreciate the links. Thank you - and for stopping by the Commonweeder.

  15. Hi Sue, I'm a big fan of Amsonia hubrictii too. I have a couple that I've had for over 10 years. I love them the most as foliage plants.

    Nice post!

    Happy New Year!

  16. Hi Pat and Sweet Bay,
    I just checked to see if I had the last word here, saw that I didn't. I had read your comments the other day, but am having trouble keeping up with replying to comments. I'm going to have to do a group one for Skywatch Friday.

    Happy New Year, and I look forward to enjoying our blogging community in 2009.

  17. Sue, I'm catching up on my reading--these posts on Amsonia are really helpful. It's just lovely in the snow--I'm going to give it another try. Happy New Year!


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