Last May I went on a fabulous tour of some of NYC’s parks beginning with Battery Park. There I saw Amsonia, which some bloggers had been raving about. I looked at this mass planting and did not see what all the raving was about. The flowers seemed inconsequential. I was not impressed.
Now I read that Amsonia hubrichtii has been named the Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. How could this be? The PPA choses plants that ” are suitable for a wide range of climate types, low maintenance, easily propagated, and exhibits multiple season interest.” In the past they have celebrated many plants that I can appreciate including Baptisia Australis, David phlox, and Geranium ‘Rozanne’. I couldn’t say they didn’t know their business, so why Amsonia?
Rhonda Fleming at the Garden Buzz had something to say about Amsonia – and it wasn’t good. Fortunately, she reminded me that there are lots of reasons a plant may not look notable. I also realized one reason may be the variety. Weston Nurseries supplied this photo of Amsonia hubrichtii, native to Arkansas and Oklahoma, which looks a whole lot better than the Amsonia growing in Battery Park. Much more floriferous.
I only saw the Amsonia in the spring, but the PPA promises that the foliage will go on to provide fine fluffy golden foliage into the fall. If you have a sunny spot with good drainage, this low maintenance plant that will grow into a three by three foot clump. It is of no interest to hungry deer. Good to know.
Have you had experience with Amsonias?