Astilbe III / False Spirea

astilbemoulinrouge (300x296)Astilbe simplifolia ‘Moulin Rouge’ (syn. Astilbe crispa x A. japonica) – A beautiful dwarf Astilbe that lives up to its name with flashy raspberry-pink blooms borne from June to July. These are produced over dense tufts of finely-cut burgundy to deep green foliage. Prefers light shade to filtered sun with even soil moisture. Grows 6″ high by 10″ wide. Hardy to zone 3.

astilbeeuropa (300x290)Astilbe japonica ‘Europa’ – This cultivar of False Spirea bears feathery spires of soft pink plumes over finely-cut glossy deep green leaves from late spring through to early summer. It is a good choice for mass planting but is herbaceous, so its winter presence is not significant. Can be grown in deep shade, but will bloom less. Grows 24″ high by 24-32″ wide. Hardy to zone 4.

astilbediamant (300x297)Astilbe x arendsii ‘Diamant’ (syn. ‘Diamond’) – Nothing perks up a partial shade exposure better than a little white and the snowy plumes of ‘Diamant’ show up quite well against the lacy green foliage. If you can bring yourself to prune out a few, these make excellent cut flowers. Divide every 3-4 years (in early spring) to maintain vigor. Grows 30″ high by 24″ wide. Zone 3.

astilbeerika (296x300)Astilbe x arendsii ‘Erica’ (syn. ‘Erika’) – The pale pink feathery plumes are borne on contrasting deep red stems (from June through to July) making an impressive display. The foliage provides additional interest as it emerges a bronze-red to burgundy and shifts to a deep green as the summer progresses. Grows 32″ high by 24″ wide. Hardy to zone 4.

astilbefanal (300x291)Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ – Few perennials command your attention as well as ‘Fanal’, as the bold deep red plumes (produced in early summer) are highly visible, even from quite a distance. These are borne over finely-cut leaves that emerge a mahogany red and shift to green through summer. It is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Grows 20″ high by 18-20″. Zone 3.

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