Virtues: 'Starstruck' is a hybrid Amsonia, or blue star, distinguished by its relatively late bloom time, its compact size and broad leaves. Its height of 20 inches makes it a good choice for smaller spaces and the front of the flower border.
Common name: 'Starstruck' bluestar
Botanical name: Amsonia 'Starstruck'
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Flowers: Clusters of light blue, star-shaped flowers open in late spring to earliest summer. This cultivar blooms about two weeks later than the comparable 'Storm Cloud', which is also a bigger plant all around.
Foliage: Growth emerges dark olive green in spring. After the plant blooms, the leaves lighten to a bright green with prominent chartreuse midribs. The leaves turn golden in the fall.
Habit: 'Starstruck' amsonia reaches about 20 inches tall. Its dense stems give it a rounded shape to about three feet wide. This is an herbaceous perennial that dies back in the fall, with new stems emerging the next spring. 'Starstruck' tops out at about a foot shorter than 'Storm Cloud'. It is taller than another popular cultivar, 'Blue Ice', and it stands more upright than that one.
Origin: Bred and introduced by Walters Gardens in Zeeland, Michigan, 'Starstruck' is a hybrid Amsonia resulting from a cross between the species A. rigida, which is native to the southeastern United States, and A. tabernaemontana, native to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
How to grow it: Site 'Starstruck' blue star in full sun to part shade and average soil. More sun will promote the heaviest bloom and most compact growth. Avoid fertilizing this plant or amending the soil because this can result in floppy growth. After the bloom ends, the entire plant can be shorn down to about eight inches tall for an even bushier habit. This plant prefers regular moisture. USDA Zones 4–9.
Image courtesy of Walters Gardens