Amsonia orientalis

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Robert Pavlis

Amsonia orientalis is a rare perennial that looks good most of the season and even has good yellow autumn color. It is supper easy to grow in just about any location from sun to part shade, dry to moist and any kind of soil. Its azure blue flowers are attractive without being gaudy.

Amsonia orientalis: photo by Robert Pavlis
Amsonia orientalis: photo by Robert Pavlis

A common name for this plant is European bluestar or European Amsonia. Most bluestars are North American, but A. orientlis is native to Europe.

Bluestars can be a bit slow to reach a mature size but they are long-lived in cultivation. An added bonus is that they rarely show die-back in the center. Maintenance is simple, cut them back like ornamental grasses in spring, and enjoy them the rest of the year. They prefer moist soil which will result in taller plants.

Amsonia orientalis: photo by Robert Pavlis
Amsonia orientalis: photo by Robert Pavlis

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ is a great smaller cousin and it is considered by some to be an orientalis, but the parentage has not been confirmed. Blue Ice was found growing with A. tabernaemontana.

Microbe Science for Gardeners Book, by Robert Pavlis
Amsonia orientalis: photo by Robert Pavlis
Amsonia orientalis: photo by Robert Pavlis

Amsonia orientalis

(am-SO-nee-uh  or-ee-en-TAL-liss)

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 75cm (30in)

Bloom Time: early summer

Natural Range: Turkey

Habitat: boggy meadows

Synonyms:  Rhazya orientalis, Rhazya thracica

Cultivation of Amsonia orientalis:

Light: part shade to full sun

Soil: variable

Water: moist to dry

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6– 9

Propagation: seed, division, softwood cuttings

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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

3 thoughts on “Amsonia orientalis”

  1. Love Amsonias! My favorite is A. hubrichtii. Granted, the flowers are not as good as some of the other species BUT .. the slender leaves and spectacular fall colour are hard to beat!

    Reply
  2. Great article about a plant I am looking for. Where can I obtain this plant? Look forward to your e:mails, they are a great help for any gardener. “Thank You”.

    Reply
    • You might have to grow it from seed. I got mine from the seed Exchange at ORGS (Ontario Rock Garden & hardy plant Society)

      Reply

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