Ornamentally speaking, chrysanthemums and asters have their expected and usual place in late fall. But this year I was pleasantly surprised by a perennial for not only its hardiness through the summer heat, but also for its vibrant fall show.
I’m talking about Arkansas blue star (Amsonia hubrichtii) – this year’s Perennial Plant of the Year.
This summer, I loved its strong mass of spiky green and pale blue star-shaped blooms blowing in the wind like emerald feather dusters. I had wanted a new texture to counter my silvery, velvet lamb’s ear and smoky violet, rounded coral bells. Blue stars definitely fill the bill. Hardy in zones 4-9, the stems will continue to grow to 3 feet, creating a dramatic backdrop to my other, lower-growing perennials. Blue star is also low-maintenance, deer-resistant and native to the U.S.
Blue star really shines in the fall. This brilliant golden color emerges that is nothing short of show-stopping in its willowy form, and seems to add amazing depth to my space. In fact, even now as other plants are withering away in the colder temperatures, blue star is still showing off its gilded points.
Thank you, Perennial Plant Association for giving this perennial its moment in the spotlight and, as a result, its permanent place in my garden.