Blue star flower perennial

Gardening How-to Articles

Bluestar: A Native Perennial with Spring Flowers and Fall Color

By Cayleb Long | July 1, 2011

Amsonia is a small genus with a few species offering outstanding ornamental value. One of the loveliest is Amsonia tabernaemontana, also known as eastern bluestar, or just bluestar. A native perennial with dense clusters of pale blue spring flowers and golden fall foliage, it deserves to be included in more northeastern gardens.

Amsonia tabernaemontana (eastern bluestar)

Eastern bluestar is a robust herbaceous native perennial native to the Midwest. Multiple single stems emerging from a basal crown often branch near the top to form a dense, shrubby plant that grows to 3½ feet tall and 2 feet wide. Lance-shaped leaves of a rich medium green are whorled up long stems that terminate in compact panicles of striking ¾-inch, bright blue star-shaped flowers that offer up a showy display from late spring through early summer. Narrow beanlike pods will often form after flowering and can offer additional late-season interest. Autumn’s cool weather brings a sunny yellow foliage display from eastern bluestar; the rich brown color of the primary veins contrasts nicely with the golden willowlike leaves.

How to Grow and Maintain Bluestar

Amsonia tabernaemontana is hardy in Zones 3 to 9 and is tolerant of a variety of conditions. Though most at home in partial shade and rich organic soil with good moisture retention, it is also tolerant of drought once established and will thrive in full sun and lean soils. In the cultivated garden, eastern bluestar will benefit from a light spring mulch of well-composted manure or other organic matter. Be careful — the new shoots can be a little late to emerge, and the tender tips nestled in the crown are easily damaged by foot traffic and disturbance.

The plant can be cut back in the summer by a third or half to control shape. In shady conditions, eastern bluestar tends to flop, so pruning may be necessary to avoid staking. New shoots will emerge along the stems just below the cuts and will fill out in short order to create a dense, tidy mound. At the end of the season, the erect stems can be cut close to the ground or left standing for winter interest and to provide the crown with protection from extreme winter weather.

Eastern bluestar can provide excellent habitat for beneficial fauna. The flowers provide an important nectar source and the foliage is a larval food for various butterflies. Hummingbirds, carpenter bees, hummingbird moths, and several other pollinators are also drawn to the plant. The foliage contains a milky sap, characteristic of many plants in the Apocynaceae, which tends to deter predation by deer and other mammalian herbivores.

Other Cultivars and Species

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ is a handsome cultivar, reportedly discovered growing among seedlings of A. tabernaemontana at White Flower Farm, in Connecticut. ‘Blue Ice’ attains only 15 to 18 inches height and doesn’t require cutting back or staking. The flowers are the same size as those of A. tabernaemontana but are a slightly darker blue.

Amsonia hubrichtii (thread-leaf bluestar) is another notable species, suitable for gardens in Zones 5 to 8. Similar in size and shape to A. tabernaemontana but with feathery, needlelike foliage and blossoms of a more steely blue, this native wildflower of the south-central United States offers an excellent floral display and even more beautiful fall color.

Cayleb Long is the former curator of the Annual and Perennial Borders, Lily Pools, and Magnolia Plaza at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.



A recipient of the Perennial Plant of the Year award in 2011, blue star has only recently made its way into ornamental horticulture. Use this clump-forming perennial, which bears blue flowers that resemble small stars, in a border or wildflower garden, a container, or at a woodland edge.

genus name
  • Amsonia
  • Part Sun,
  • Sun
plant type
  • Perennial
  • 1 to 3 feet,
  • 3 to 8 feet
  • 1 to 4 feet wide
flower color
  • Blue
foliage color
  • Blue/Green
season features
  • Spring Bloom,
  • Colorful Fall Foliage
problem solvers
  • Deer Resistant,
  • Drought Tolerant
special features
  • Low Maintenance,
  • Attracts Birds,
  • Good for Containers
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9
  • Division,
  • Seed

Garden Plans For Bluestar

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Blue and Purple Blooms

This plant’s flowers range in color from the dark blue of closed buds to the soft powdery blue of open flowers—often appearing as a two-tone effect. Even when not in bloom, this airy, graceful plant displays willowlike foliage that in some varieties turns golden yellow in the fall—a rarity among herbaceous perennials. Some newer, more ornamental varieties feature stems that range in color from dark purple to nearly black.

See more plants with stunning fall foliage.

How to Grow Bluestar

Blue star’s care depends on the species being grown. Generally, blue star prefers fertile, well-drained soils. Moisture requirements vary. Amsonia hubrichtii, a more drought-tolerant variety, does not require constant moisture. Other species, such as Amsonia tabernaemontana, are less drought-tolerant and prefer evenly moist soils. (Check with the supplier for plant specifics.)

Plant blue star in full sun to get the most spectacular color and prevent flopping (which is especially important with taller varieties). In regions with very warm summers, plant blue star in part shade. Prune any floppy plants (especially those growing in part shade) to make them sturdier. Cutting back blue star a few inches after blooming creates a tighter habit and prevents the plant from aggressively self-seeding. Divide the plant in spring or root plant cuttings in early summer. Blue star is not susceptible to serious insect problems or diseases, although rust is a possibility.

Try these low-maintenance plants in your garden.

New Types of Bluestar

When blue star first came to market, it was seed-grown so plants displayed variability. The development of named cultivars has helped create uniform plants that suit mass plantings. Breeders also look to create dwarf plants with multiseasonal interest and new varieties with richer, deeper foliage colors.

More Varieties of Bluestar

Arkansas bluestar

Amsonia hubrectii grows 2-3 feet high with fine feathery chartreuse foliage. Powder blue flowers are borne midspring, and the plant turns golden in fall. Zones 5-9

Downy bluestar

Amsonia ciliata offers fine-textured, feathery leaves on a 2- to 3-foot-tall mounded plant. It adds great color to the garden thanks to the silvery, fuzzy hairs that appear on new leaves and plant stems. Zones 5-9

Shining bluestar

Amsonia illustris features shiny, leathery leaves. Swallowtail butterflies love the nectar of the steel blue flowers. Zones 5-9

Willowleaf bluestar

Amsonia tabernaemontana salicifolia grows 3-4 feet tall and has a lovely, upright habit. Cut back plants immediately after their blue flowers appear in late spring to prevent self-seeding and to prevent plants from becoming floppy. Zones 3-9

Plant Bluestar With:

Catmint is one of the toughest perennials you can grow. It’s a proven performer during hot, dry weather, and the silvery foliage and blue flowers look great most of the season. Deadhead or cut back hard after first flush of bloom to encourage more flowers. Average, well-drained soil is usually sufficient. Tall types may need gentle staking; it sometimes seeds freely.As you might guess from the common name, catmint is a favorite of cats. They’ll often roll around in the plants in delight.

Named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, iris indeed comes in a rainbow of colors and in many heights. All have the classic, impossibly intricate flowers. The flowers are constructed with three upright “standard” petals and three drooping “fall” petals, which are often different colors. The falls may be “bearded” or not. Some cultivars bloom a second time in late summer. Some species prefer alkaline soil while others prefer acidic soil.Shown above: Immortality iris

Easy and undemanding, veronicas catch the eye in sunny gardens over many months. Some have mats with loose clusters of saucer-shaped flowers, while others group their star or tubular flowers into erect tight spikes. A few veronicas bring elusive blue to the garden, but more often the flowers are purplish or violet blue, rosy pink, or white. Provide full sun and average well-drained soil. Regular deadheading extends bloom time.

More Information About Amsonia

Amsonia (Blue Star) is a genus of mostly native plants. These perennial wildflowers attract butterflies, and are deer-resistant, sun-loving plants prized for their drought tolerance and true blue flowers. Not only are Amsonia species themselves superb, but many of the newer amsonia (blue star) hybrids could become garden staples. Amsonia hubrichtii was named the 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association for its delicate texture, blue flowers and fantastic yellow fall foliage. Amsonia hubrichtii has long been one of our favorites too.

Amsonia is a tough, easy to grow, deer-resistant, full sun perennial that tolerates a variety of garden soils. Amsonia looks great grown in a large drift but also makes a wonderful backdrop or companion plant for other garden species. When you are ready to buy amsonia for your garden, check out our list of Amsonia Blue star for sale.
Try creating an astronomy garden that contains Amsonia (Blue Star) plus golden star (Chrysogonum), blazing star (Liatris), white star grass (Dichromena), star flower (Ipheion), star of persia (Allium), blue star creeper (Laurentia), Zephyranthes ‘Morning Star’, Crinum ‘Stars and Stripes’, Yucca ‘Tiny Star’ and Kniphofia ‘Sally’s Comet’. This constellation of color will have you seeing stars all year long.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Threadleaf Bluestar (also known as Arkansas Amsonia or Hubricht’s Bluestar) has three solid seasons of interest in the garden. In its everyday demeanor, extremely fine textured linear foliage attracts the attention of passers-by. The unique texture has given rise to many comparisons. Some say it is like a conifer or an asparagus fern or a grass – difficult to describe but always eye-catching. In spring, typical starry blue blooms crown plants. And… perhaps the most showy golden foliage of all the Amsonias sparkles in the autumn light. As if that weren’t enough, it is ridiculously easy to grow.

HABITAT & HARDINESS: The plant was originally discovered in western Arkansas growing on a dry rocky slope in the Ouachita Mountain. According to the USDA it is native to 9 counties in Arkansas and to parts of Oklahoma. In its native habitat, plants occur on rocky outcrops and dry creek banks.

Threadleaf Bluestar has proven to be adapted to a wide variety of sites in USDA Zones 5-9. Plants are adaptable to sunny or partly sunny sites in most well drained soils.

PLANT DESCRIPTION: Threadleaf Bluestar is a sturdy warm season perennial with a broadly rounded growth habit. This form becomes shrub-like and more striking with age. Mature plants can reach a height of 4’-5 with a 4’ spread.

Foliage is very narrow and linear. The leaves are closely spaced on the mounding plant giving a frothy appearance. Blooms are lavender blue and star shaped. During Autumn, foliage is tinted in a lovely clear yellow shade.

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS: Threadleaf Bluestar is very adaptable and easy to grow. It tolerates moist sandy to heavy clay soils and drought.

Plants flourish in full sun or partial shade but may flop is shade is too dense.

A slightly toxic latex sap cause this plant to be unpalatable to insect pests and foraging herbivores like deer and rabbits.

LANDSCAPE USES: Feathery fine textured foliage and a robustly rounded growth habit allow this Bluestar to perform well as an Accent plant. It can also be used as a Butterfly Nectar Plant or as part of a Group or Mass. Plants inject seasonal interest (Fall Color and Showy Blooms) into the garden and are valuable components of Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings, Meadow or Prairie Gardens, Perennial Borders, Shade Gardens and Wildlife Gardens.

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS: The extremely fine textured foliage contrasts well with coarse textured plants like Joe Pye weed.

Willow Bluestar could be substituted if Threadleaf Bluestar is not available.

TRIVIA: Selected as Perennial Plant of the Year for 2011 by the Perennial Plant Association.

Threadleaf Bluestar is the darling of almost every garden writer now. But it took 50 years for the plant to be introduced into the nursery trade.

Discovered in 1942 by Leslie Hubricht on a rocky slope in Arkansas. Hubricht worked as a Botanist’s Assistant to Dr. Robert Woodson at the Missouri Botanical Garden. He chanced upon the plant while following his passion for collecting land snails. He took a plant specimens back to Woodson and the plant was named as a new species in Hubricht’s honor.

Hubricht soon left the Missouri Botanical Garden and began a career as a tabulating machine repair man. This allowed him to collect land snails in many different habitats and build an astounding collection which is now housed in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He ended his days in Meridian, Mississippi where he met Gail Barton, a Horticulture Teacher and owner of Flowerplace Plant Farm. Barton began growing the plant in her nursery. She brought it to the Landscaping with Native Plants Conference in Cullowhee, North Carolina and introduced it in a “Plants of Promise” session in the early 1990’s. The plant caused quite a stir. No one there had ever heard of it but within a few years it began to appear in native plant nurseries.

Amsonia hubrichtii (Threadleaf Bluestar) – Plugs

Taking the title of Perennial Plant of the Year in 2011 from the Perennial Plant Association, Threadleaf bluestar is a somewhat uncommon, attractive native perennial hailing from the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Threadleaf Bluestar grows to around 3 feet tall, blooming in late spring. The light, powder-blue flowers occur in clusters of 20 or more atop terminal stems, and bloom for several weeks into early Summer. The plants make a nice mound of delicate foliage for the remainder of the summer, finally finishing off with a spectacular golden fall color unmatched by most other perennials.

Threadleaf Bluestar typically grows in open glades on dry rocky outcrops and dry embankments along creeks in its native habitat; it carries to the landscape its rugged adaptability and drought tolerance. Even though it is a southern plant, it is cold hardy to zone 5. Threadleaf Bluestar will adapt in everything from rocky, sandy soils to heavy clay soils. The main requirements are a sunny spot and soil that isn’t continually waterlogged.


Threadleaf Bluestar has a very upright habit and won’t flop over unless it’s in heavy shade. Threadleaf bluestar is very adaptable, and can be used reliably anywhere east of the Rockies and from Zone 5 South. Threadleaf bluestar is a very long-lived and drought tolerant species, making it ideal for minimal-maintenance borders and landscapes. Threadleaf bluestar can be used as a standalone specimen plant; it really shines when planted in drifts that show off the ferny summer foliage and brilliant gold Autumn coloration.

Threadleaf Bluestar makes a good Sustainable Landscaping plant, as it offers nectar for butterflies and pollinators. The stems remain upright all winter, providing shelter for birds and small animals. Threadleaf Bluestar is also completely resistant to deer and rabbit browse, making it a great plant for areas with high populations of these animals.

How to Grow Threadleaf Bluestar

Tolerating everything from dry sandy soils to heavy clay soils, Threadleaf Bluestar is a very easy-to-grow, attractive garden perennial, especially for the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Plant Bluestar in clumps 2-3 feet apart – Closer together for masses or drifts, and further apart for distinct specimens. Threadleaf Bluestar takes a year to establish and may not look like much at first, but it really starts to shine as it gets some age in the garden. Threadleaf Bluestar looks beautiful in a mixed border – Combine with other sunny-area perennials and grasses. ‘Shenandoah’ Switch Grass makes a great companion plant, as its upright, reddish blades look striking against the light green, thread-like leaves of Bluestar.

Our Threadleaf Bluestar quart SuperPlug™ pots will establish quickly. Plant in Autumn for blooms the following Spring; Not all may bloom the same year if planted in spring.

As you walk along the High Line, look down. The park changes each week as more flowers emerge. This month features one of the signature plant genuses of the High Line—the Amsonia or Bluestar family. We have two main types, Amsonia hubrichtii, which is more upright with light blue flowers, and Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ — Blue Ice bluestar–which is low-growing with distinctive purple flowers. Blue Ice bluestar is present throughout the park, and is just coming into bloom this week.

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ is an herbaceous perennial with flowers forming in large, multi-stemmed clumps. The color of the flowers ranges from deep purple to light blue. It works as an excellent ground cover, which is the main way that it can be seen on the High Line. Look under the trees in Gansevoort Woodland to see an impressive stand of Blue Ice.

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ is native to most of the Eastern US, including New York State. It’s a tough plant, which makes it a good fit for the High Line. It’s hardy in USDA climate zones 3 through 9, which covers all but the coldest or most tropical parts of the country. Bluestar can be grown in full sun to part shade, has no major pest problems, and is deer resistant. It also grows well in containers.

The name of this species was recently changed from Amsonia tabernaemontana ‘Blue Ice’ to simply Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’. The former Latin name for this species comes from Jacobus Theodorus, the father of German botany. In 1588 he illustrated a famous book on plants, and later he Latinized his name as tabernaemontana. To acknowledge his work, the species was named in his honor, at least for a while.

When grown in full sun, Blue Ice will stay upright, but tends to flop in shade—some staking may be required. Bluestars can be grown from seed or from stem cuttings, and will spread over the seasons. They prefer moist, well-drained soil.

On the High Line between 12th and 17th Streets, and 27th and 30th Streets

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 500 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today. Every week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Our horticultural team counts on members and friends like you to help keep the High Line beautiful and thriving. Join our community of supporters who play an essential role in the High Line’s most important gardening projects.

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High Line Gardens are supported by Greenacre Foundation.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS: If you’re looking for a low maintenance perennial with seasonal interest, look no further than Amsonia spp. All members of the Bluestar clan have attractive foliage and blue blossoms in late spring or early summer. ‘Blue Ice’ Eastern Bluestar is unique in that its flowers are a deeper shade of blue than the other Amsonia cousins. Maybe it should be called the Eastern BluerStar. ‘Blue Ice’ also has a desirable compact growth habit and blue-ish foliage. When not in bloom the foliage is attractive and tidy with golden yellow fall color.

HABITAT & HARDINESS: This selection was found in a nursery block of Amsonia tabernaemontana in a New England nursery. It is suspected to be a hybrid and it is likely that the native Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) is one of the parents.

This plant is hardy from USDA Zones 4-9. It grows best in rich well drained soils that are moist but not soggy.

PLANT DESCRIPTION: ‘Blue Ice’ is a compact mounding warm season perennial. Plants are dense and bushy. Height is 1.5’ with a 2-3’ spread. Growth habit and form are uniform due to the fact that this variety is a clone.

Leaves are willow-like with a tinge of blue. In autumn they turn golden yellow. This plant is a textural phenomenon. When planted in masses, the sweeping blue-green foliage is quite striking.

In late spring and early summer dark blue buds open into clouds of starry deep blue flowers. The blossoms are arranged in small rounded clusters. Blooms last for about a month.

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS: ‘Blue Ice’ grows well in sunny or partly shaded sites with moist well drained soil. Established plants are drought tolerant.

Plants are long lived and pest resistant. Stems contain a toxic milky sap which insures that they are not palatable to deer and other herbivores.

Normally special maintenance is not needed. If plants are situated in full shade, however, stems may become weak and need pruning.

LANDSCAPE USES: This is a great plant to mass at the edge of a woodland. It can also be used as an Accent, Butterfly Nectar Plant, Groundcover or as part of a grouping. Plants inject seasonal interest (Fall Color and Showy Blooms) into the garden and are valuable components of Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings, Meadow or Prairie Gardens, Perennial Borders, Shade Gardens and Wildlife Gardens.

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS: In the woodland garden, this bluestar pairs well with ferns and sedges. In sunny spots, yellow blooming composites like black eyed Susan contrast nicely with the blue foliage and flowers. Lavender and purple fall asters like New England aster or ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ aster are a striking compliment to the golden Amsonia foliage.

Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) could be used as a substitute. Although plants would be taller and coarser in texture with paler flowers.

TRIVIA: A chance seedling is not so unusual among the Amsonias because different species of Bluestar often cross or hybridize.

Photos by Wayside Gardens /
Amsonia hubrechtiiAmsonia hubrechtiiby George Papadelis

September is too often considered a challenging month for perennial gardeners. Many of us believe mums are the only annual or perennial that provides interest in the fall. Nothing could be further from the truth. In sunny areas, try perennials like Sedum ‘Autumn Joy,’ hardy plumbago (Ceratostigma), boltonia, asters, blue mist spirea (Caryopteris), and ornamental grasses, just to name a few. In shady spots, try anemones, toad lilies (Tricyrtis), yellow wax bells (Kirengeshoma), hosta plantaginea, and fall-blooming crocus. And don’t forget about pansies. They are getting easier to find in the fall, and if planted then, they can bloom until Christmas or longer. Amsonia is yet another one of these late season performers whose color and durability make it a must for the fall garden.

Amsonia is rarely referred to by its common name “blue star.” Unlike most perennials, this one exhibits striking fall color that is more typical of many trees and shrubs. By late September, amsonia’s tight mound of olive-green, willow-like foliage takes on a brilliant yellow-gold color. This blends beautifully with other fall color, whether from mums or shrubs. Even before the fall show develops, these rounded mounds of fine foliage provide handsome forms and textures in the summer garden. Flowers too? Yes! In the spring, amsonia is covered with small, pale blue, star-shaped flowers, from which the common name is derived. Like many perennials, these only last a few weeks. It is the foliage of this plant which deserves recognition and more frequent use in the garden.

Amsonia tabernaemontanaAmsonia has one other rare quality. This eastern U.S. native thrives in heavy, moist soil. “Heavy, moist” means clay and many of us have plenty of it. Use organic soil amendments like compost and peat moss when planting, but some clay will make amsonia feel right at home. Blue star is also long-lived, so dividing or replacing it will rarely be necessary. Position the plant in sun or partial sun and let time do the rest. After one year in the garden, you have plants large enough to draw attention. Keep in mind amsonia’s broken stems release a milky sap that may cause skin irritation.

Two types of amsonia are readily available and vary only in leaf form. Willow leaf amsonia or blue star (Amsonia tabernaemontana) has wider leaves resembling those of a willow tree, while Arkansas blue star (Amsonia hubrichtii) has very narrow leaves. Naturally, the latter species produces foliage effects that are finer and lighter in texture. Both types grow 2 to 3 feet tall and have great fall color.

If big, bright flowers are all you need in your fall garden, mums are probably your best bet. On the other hand, amsonia provides tidy mounds of beautifully textured foliage followed by outstanding fall color for years and years. Try it with some of the previously mentioned fall performers for a late season show you’re sure to enjoy.

George Papadelis is the owner of Telly’s Greenhouse in Troy.

At a glance: Amsonia

Pronunciation: am-SO-nee-ah

Common name: Blue star

Plant type: Perennial

Plant size: 24-36” tall, 36” wide

Flower color: Pale blue, star-shaped

Flower size: 1” across

Bloom period: Late spring to early summer

Leaves: Green; 2-6” long; 1/2-1” wide or very fine, depending on variety

Light: Full to part sun

Soil: Only moderately fertile, moist soil; prefers some clay content; if soil is too fertile, plant may tend to flop

Uses: Perennial border; use for its foliage texture, especially in the fall.

Companion plants: Sedum ‘Autumn Joy,’ ornamental grasses, boltonia, Russian sage, asters, blue mist spirea

Remarks: Fantastic golden yellow fall color. Long-lived perennial; frequent division is not necessary.

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ (Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’)

Botanical name

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’

Other names

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’, Blue star ‘Blue Ice’, Bluestar ‘Blue Ice’


Amsonia Amsonia

Variety or Cultivar

‘Blue Ice’ _ ‘Blue Ice’ is a compact, mound-forming, deciduous perennial with upright stems bearing lance-shaped, dark green leaves turning yellow-orange in autumn and rounded, open panicles of star-shaped, lavender-blue flowers in late spring and early summer.




Cushion or Mound Forming, Compact, Upright


Contact with the milky sap may cause skin irritation.

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Lavender, Blue in Spring; Blue, Lavender in Summer

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Yellow-orange in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for


Generally pest free.


Generally disease free.

General care


Cut back in late autumn.

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Where to grow

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ (Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’) will reach a height of 0.45m and a spread of 0.6m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Cottage/Informal, Drought Tolerant, Prairie planting, Woodland


Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. Will tolerate short periods of drought.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral


Partial Shade, Full Sun


North, South, East, West


Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ (Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Spilostethus pandurus



Current status in UK


Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

Seed bug unlikely to pose a significant threat to UK plant health.

Defra’s Risk register #2

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ (Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’)

Spilostethus hospes



Seed bug unlikely to pose a significant threat to UK plant health.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

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