Amsonia illustris

Ozark blue star

Outstanding Qualities

The lance-shaped, bright green foliage of Amsonia illustris is topped with panicles of light-blue flowers in late spring and early summer which contrast beautifully with the glossy leaves. This long-lived and reliable perennial shines with a glowing bright yellow in autumn before going dormant for the winter.

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Astrantia major, Aster x frikartii ‘Wunder von Stäfa’, Digitalis grandiflora, Campanula lactiflora ‘Loddon Anna’, Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’

Great Color Contrasts: white, yellow

Great Color Partners: blue, green, pink, purple

Culture Notes

This long lived perennial prefers a rich well-drained soil and regular summer watering. Plant it in full sun for the best flowering and brightest fall color. Be patient with new young plants, often they can look a little straggly and forlorn and may take a few years to fill out. To help plants establish give them some space to minimize competition. Once they mature they will be long lived and robust, full specimens.

© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: blue

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: regular watering