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The Amsonia genus belongs to the Apocynaceae family. It includes about twenty species of bushes and subshrub perennials, reaching a height of about 1m (3ft), native to Southern Europe, Asia Minor, Japan, and North America. These plants are not well-known, yet they are hardy and easy to grow in the sun or partial shade in fresh, well-drained soil. They share a summer flowering with open blooms, reminiscent of phlox and the ability to exude a milky sap when stems and leaves are broken. In the garden, for example, one may choose Amsonia orientalis, which has become rare in its country of origin, with its abundant blue-violet flowering, or Amsonia tabernaemontana, which accompanies iris and peonies with its pyramids of tiny pale blue flowers.

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