Amsonia illustris

Ozark blue star

  • © Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

  • © Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

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

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

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: blue

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: late spring - early summer flowers; autumn foliage color

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies

Resistant to: deer

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.
Geek Notes
Amsonia illustris is native to the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.