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Amsonia tomentosa
Amsonia eastwoodiana. Synonym: Amsonia tomentosa. (Eastwood's Bluestar)
Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
Corona Arch Trail, Utah, April 13, 2005.

With its delicate and lovely flowers, Amsonia tomentosa is always a pleasant find. In some areas it is quite common, but overall through the Four Corners region, this bushy plant is relatively uncommon. When it is found it usually is in sandy/gravelly soils, often in the Blackbrush community where it can be common. 

Amsonia tomentosa's flower petals spread to about an inch in diameter in clusters of up to a dozen; the plant grows over two feet tall; and it is easy to spot because of the abundance of flower clusters and the straw-like residue of last year's flower stems and seed pods.  Amsonia stems are often curled over with the weight of the new flower heads.

Charles Amson was an 18th century Virginia physician and traveler.  "Tomentosa" is Latin for "dense hairs". Alice Eastwood (1859-1953), for whom this species was first named, was a Denver high school teacher, plant collector, and author honored in a number of plant names.  Per Axel Rydberg collected the first specimen of this plant in 1911 near Moab and he named it for Alice Eastwood in 1913. (More biographical information about AmsonMore biographical information about Eastwood.)

Amsonia tomentosa

Amsonia tomentosa

Amsonia eastwoodiana. Synonym: Amsonia tomentosa.(Eastwood's Bluestar)
Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
Corona Arch Trail, Utah, April 1, 2004 and April 13, 2005.

Flowers are delicate shades of lavender; petals in the flower buds are twisted.

Amsonia tomentosa
Amsonia eastwoodiana. Synonym: Amsonia tomentosa. (Eastwood's Bluestar)
Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
Corona Arch Trail, Utah, June 7, 2007 and May 27, 2016.

Seed pods are several inches long and remain dried and rattling on the plant long after the pods have opened and spilled the seeds.

Leaves are 1 to 3 inches long and just 1/8 to 1/3 inches wide.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated

Questionable presence

Range map for Amsonia eastwoodiana