Astrantia

Masterwort

According to Smith’s Exotic Botany of 1805, “The more refined admirers of Nature” rate Astrantia among their favorite blossoms. The flowers bloom like tiny enchanting fireworks: a star burst of bracts surround the spray of small flowers and splashy groups of buds shoot out from branched stems like the finale on the Fourth of July.

If a natural look is what you’re after, plant Masterworts near a shady patio or path where you can enjoy their detail. This is an ideal flower for arrangements, fresh or dried.

<i>Astrantia major</i> ‘Buckland’

For its robust stature and endless supply of light-hued, good-sized blooms, ‘Buckland’ earns its keep in our garden. Each pearl green ruff houses an airy, dusky pink mound, brimming with intrigue and soothing shades. This Astrantia major and Astrantia maxima hybrid boasts nearly a six-month long floral show that tempts bees, butterflies and gardeners, while crowning stout branched stems and tightset 5-lobed, verdant toothed leaves.

Blooms mid-June – October.

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Astrantia major</i> ‘Canneman’

Slender yet sturdy, the long erect stems host bouquets of delicate domelike flowers cradled by upturned bracts in soft pale pink shades. The large, intricate blossoms complement lush, palmately lobed basal foliage. Named for a Dutch gardener, this vigorous Astrantia imparts a sophisticated flair to any garden setting that’s dappled with light.

Blooms mid-June–September.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Astrantia major</i> ‘Claret’

A dark drama is played out when ‘Claret’ is cast in a supporting role at the shady edge of the garden border. Dark red “pincushions” neatly cupped in bracts, and nearly black stems have an air of mystery as they rise from the luxuriant palm-shaped foliage. With long lasting flowers, ‘Claret’ is like a fine wine—something you want to always have on hand.

Blooms mid-June–September.

Size: 22" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Esteemed for the glorious borders she created at Hadspen House, Nori Pope introduced this sought-after richly hued beauty. ‘Hadspen Blood’ is considered one of the darkest red cultivars, flaunting intricately detailed deep carmine floral mounds that shine like rubies over large lustrous palmate leaves. Stage near Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ and savor the lavish union.

Blooms mid-June–September.

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Celebrating bright and cheerful colors, crowns of maroon bracts deliver gorgeous cherry red floral mounds with lighter pink centers. ‘Lars’s blooms loll high above broad deep green lobed leaves on slender stems. This energetic Danish cultivar looks a bit like an overly exuberant Italian Flat Parsley and makes an unparalleled up-front cottage-style filler that is easy to care for.

Blooms mid-June–September.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/4' high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Copious extra large white domed umbels plus spiky niveous collars with green-tipped bracts become a study in refinement, poised on ‘Madeleine van Bennekom’s stand of lithe branched stems and openly set deep green foliage. Ideally planted on the woodland’s fringe, this enduring well-groomed beauty imparts illuminated floral allure to neighbors such as Leycesteria ‘Golden Lanterns’ and Deschampsia flexuosa.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Distinguished by its uniquely colored blooms and valiant upright silhouette, this spectacular new cultivar debuts large, rounded sprays of petite, purple-infused burgundy flowers resting upon showy silver and crimson-hued bracts. Shiny, toothed palmate dark greenery elevates the bountiful floral display that unfolds from spring ’til October and makes a gorgeous full-toned match for Rodgersia ‘Bronze Form’ and Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’.

Blooms June–September

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Touted as one of the longest flowering of all Astrantias, ‘Pink Pride’ will impress you with large pleasantly pink pin-cushion-like blooms. Green and rose-blushed bracts cradle the rococo flowers above a medium green foil of chiseled lusty green leaves and upright steadfast stems. Lovely in a swath along a partially shaded path, it makes a compelling companion for other extraordinary beauties such as Rodgersia ‘Braunlaub’ or Tricyrtis lasiocarpa

Blooms mid-June–early October.

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Evoking antique lace, pin cushionesque rosy red flowers are cozied within a decorative silver-hued rosette of pointy bracts. Slim branching stems plus handsome loosely arranged deep green foliage compose the durable coddle-free clump. A stylish contender for bright shady areas, ‘Roma’s artful blooms embellish mixed plantings under trees, along waters’ edge or in a border.

Blooms June–August

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Astrantia major</i> ssp. <i>involucrata</i> ‘Shaggy’

“Outstandingly strong and bold,” is how the late British garden writer Christopher Lloyd referred to this ornate beauty. Especially long, soft-looking bracts, white and green-tipped, cradle delicate, frosty pale pink corsages and earn ‘Shaggy’ its name. Planted en masse and superimposed against Actaea, the sturdy striated stems and deeply cut spring green leaves make a verdurous statement.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Slightly reminiscent of a refined Queen Ann’s Lace, large greenish white domed flowers reside atop a stiff spidery ruff of green-tinged white bracts, while riding wiry stems and palmately cut, dark green toothed leaves. Coveted by butterflies, floral designers and horticulturists, ‘White Giant’ emphasizes long lasting blooms with mesmerizing detail and a lovely enduring presence that can be sprinkled amid Sesleria ‘Greenlee’, Geranium ‘Havana Blues’ and Aster ‘October Skies’ for natural panache.

Blooms mid-June–September.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/4' high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Astrantia</i> ‘Moulin Rouge’

Resembling an elaborate centerpiece, domed flower heads, backed in pale green and tipped in burgundy make a glittery appearance on stiff, maroon-black pointed bracts. This darkly colored base is unique and sets ‘Moulin Rouge’ apart from other Astrantia cultivars. Strong supple stems and glossy, deeply lobed greenery give way to the sumptuous pageant of large, long blooming inflorescences that cast their beguiling spell upon the garden. (pp#16549)

Blooms June – August.

Size: 18" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Achillea 'Hella Glashoff'

Amazing Achilleas, Invigorate your summer plantings!

Amazing Achilleas…. These sturdy, dependable perennials produce small indivdual blooms that populate broad, flat flower heads, lending welcome horizontal elements to any garden bed. Ideal for bouquets, fresh or dried, the long-lasting blossoms range in color from alabaster to soft yellow and gold, as well as terracotta, pink and sassy red. Cut back their flowers in midsummer and enjoy a fall encore! Spicy scented, attractive fern-like green or gray-tinged foliage cloaks their strong straight stems. Slowly spreading and somewhat drought tolerant, Yarrow seem to thrive on neglect. They can handle low soil fertility plus coastal wind and salt spray. Be sure to check out our diverse on-line Achillea selections!

Invigorate your summer plantings.… A few simple maintenance techniques will help plants appear fresh throughout the upcoming dog days of summer. The addition of a chipped bark mulch or well-rotted compost, applied as a top-dressing, not only reduces water requirements, but generally makes it easier for plants to maintain perky looking leaves and vigorous habits. A July or early August trimming of long-blooming perennials, such as Nepetas and most Geraniums ensures myriad flowers that will keep on coming ‘til the first frost. Featured in this newsletter, you’ll find the fabulous plants that caught my eye as Boobah and I took our morning walk through the nursery and adjacent display borders this past week. Hopefully, you’ll have room to ensconce several of them in a well-traveled spot. Happy Digging!

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