One of the prettiest plants in my garden right now is Amsonia hubrechtii, our native bluestar. The only way to describe this plant is pettable– you can’t help but running your fingers through its soft foliage.
Diane in a bed of Amsonia hubrechtii at Millennium Park in Chicago
I grow this plant in the bed surrounding my veggie garden. The soil is heavy clay. I also grow it in regular garden soil at Natureworks. As long as it’s in the sun, it’s happy.
Soft, sky blue flowers cover this 2-3′ tall plant in June but that’s not the reason I grow it. I simply love the leaves. Right now they are turning all shades of yellow and bronze and orange. I can’t stop taking pictures of them!
When you cut a stem, it bleeds a bit of white sap. This make Amsonia deer resistant, most likely deer proof.
The other Amsonia I plant is much shorter (12-15″ tall), with brighter blue flowers and broader leaves: Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’. The fall foliage on this variety is bright yellow.