Sunday, October 23, 2011

Amsonia Hubrichtii - 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year

The "Amsonia Hubrichtii" is is 2011's perennial of the year. Most gardeners probably know this, but I only found out this last weekend. My wife and our two girls and our two dogs went to Ocean Shores and it rained the entire time. This may seem bad, but I enjoy staying indoors and catching up on ideas and plants. The only problem is that you actually have to have a place for each one that you buy. I have gotten home from Watson's or the Portland Ave Nursery (or some other equally exciting plant sale) only to realize that I don't know where to put what I just bought.
The reason I like this one, though, is that not only the flowers change, but also the foliage. In my opinion a garden should change through out the entire year - mine doesn't yet, mind you. I am always looking for plants that will further this goal. I thought others may like to look into this perennial also!

This next part is copied from a couple of websites I was researching this on. You'll be able to tell because it is well written...
is the Perennial Plant Association’s 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year™. Amsonia hubrichtii, pronounced am-SO-nee-ah hew-BRIK-tee-eye, carries the common names Arkansas blue star, Arkansas amsonia, thread-leaf blue star, narrow leaf blue star, and Hubricht’s blue star. This all-season perennial has blue star-shaped flowers inFrom late spring to early summer, two- to three-inch wide clusters of small, light blue, star-shaped flowers are borne above the ferny foliage. The alternate arranged leaves are bright green in spring and summer, but turn a bright yellow-golden color in fall.

Amsonia hubrichtii:  spring and light green foliage all summer. The foliage turns a beautiful golden-yellow in fall. Arkansas blue star is very soil-adaptive and insects and diseases are rare. It

Amsonia hubrichtii grows best in full sun and partial shade and in well-drained soil. Stems tend to open and flop if plants are grown in too much shade. Once well established, this blue star is drought tolerant and can withstand a season of neglect. The foliage and stems contain a milky sap, which seems to make the plant unappealing to deer. No insect or disease pests are known to attack Arkansas blue star. It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. Although the delicate light blue spring flowers are the Arkansas blue star is a timeless plant. The foliage in spring and summer is one of the best for contrast with medium to large perennials or shrubs. This blue star adds a billowy, finely-textured feature to the perennial landscape. It grows into a dense mass, very much like a small shrub. The cool blue flowers are useful for toning down adjacent flower colors. The color of the foliage and flowers of blue star blend easily with other plants.inspiration for its common name, the autumn color of the feathery leaves is a major reason that gardeners grow an excellent combination with purple coneflower, gayfeather, and ornamental grasses. Try a combination of Black Lace elderberry and Arkansas blue star. The brilliant yellow foliage of amsonia combined with the dark foliage of elderberry. The stunning pale pumpkin color of the foliage createsknockout combination. Arkansas blue star can be used in sunny borders, cottage plantings, native gardens,and in large container plantings. The ornamental qualities and many uses make amsonia an invaluable perennial garden plant.

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