Plant of the Month for May, 2020

 (am-SO-nee-uh  or-ee-en-TAL-liss)

General Information:

Amsonia orientalis, is a rare perennial that looks good most of the season and even has good yellow autumn colour. 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.

Amsonia orientalis, photo by Robert Pavlis

Amsonia orientalis leavesphoto by Robert Pavlis

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 75cm (30in)

Bloom Time: early summer

Natural Range: Turkey

Habitat: boggy meadows

Synonyms:  Rhazya orientalis, Rhazya thracica

 

Cultivation:

Light: part shade to full sun

Soil: variable

Water: moist to dry

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6- 9

Propagation: seed, division, softwood cuttings

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): occasionally

G

Sow @ 4°C for 3 months, then place @ 20°C for 3 months.
Robert Pavlis