into the blue

Amsonia jonesii.

Once I got this into the garden, which wasn’t easy (though I think now a few nurseries offer it), I wanted more of these western dryland versions of an otherwise not-very-exciting bunch of plants.

There are a couple of other species of equal desirability, A. eastwoodiana and A. tomentosa, the former from northern Arizona and southern Utah, the latter ranging as far west as southern California (or is it the other way around?) Nothing ever happened when I sowed the funny-looking seed. You would think that, being seed, its primary objective would be to germinate, but apparently not; it just lay in the ground, doing nothing.

I finally lucked out (or so it seemed) when I found that a mail-order nursery sold plants of A. tomentosa. I only bought one, and that was the one I pulled up by mistake thinking it was a weed. Much self-recrimination followed, accompanied by some colorful tomentose language, but it had no effect, because the plant lay there dead.

Now it turns out that a botanist has decided that both of these species are really just one; the later-described (by Rydberg, who had his own way of looking at things) A. eastwoodiana becoming just a memory. Like the seeds I sowed.

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