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Amsonia is one of those plants that will make people stop in their tracks and ask what it is. At its peak in mid- to late spring, amsonia is adorned by stunning clusters of powder blue flowers. The show doesn't stop there, however. Its mound of foliage remains attractive all summer long, and as fall approaches, it turns a lovely golden hue. Although the seed pods that develop are attractive, remove them before they mature to prevent self-seeding.
Part Sun, Sun
3 to 8 feet
1-4 feet wide
more varieties for 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
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
Amsonia illustris features shiny, leathery leaves. Swallowtail butterflies love the nectar of the steel blue flowers. Zones 5-9
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.