After the early spring ephemerals have come and gone our attention turns to the "summer flowers". Towards the end of May in to June a beautiful steely blue flower comes into bloom, willow blue amsonia. The color of the blossoms is like no other I can compare it to. The flowers are dense terminal clusters of star shaped light blue flowers.
The plant grows to about two feet depending upon its location. I have it growing in partial shade on a moist site. I also used this plant in a bed with full sun in dryer soil and the plant is very full and robust. The leaves are narrow and deep green. The plant is shrub like in appearance and as a added bonus turns a golden yellow in the fall.
The nectar is used by long tongued insects such as butterflies and Humming bird moths. Amsonia is avoided by deer and other mammals because it contains a white latex that is toxic. So if you have deer or other critter problems you should give amsonia a try. It looks spectacular in mass planting. Good companions are Joe-pye weed, Canadian anemone, Heuchera americana, and bowman's root depending on the site. Propagation is best accomplished by seed.
Amsonia tabernaemontana - Willow blue amsonia
-Has beautiful steel blue flowers
-Butterflies and hummingbirds use it for nectar
-Excellent foliage plant, turns yellow in the fall
-Height: 2 to 3 feet tall
-Zone: 3 to 9