Astilbe, a genus of perennial flowering plants, is native to Asia and North America. It is well-known for its feathery, plume-like flowers and finely textured, fern-like foliage.
Size: Astilbe plants typically display a mounding growth habit, with arching stems that bear the plumes above the foliage. They usually reach a size of 1.5 to 6 feet in height (45-180 cm), depending on the variety, with a similar spread.
Flowers: The flowers are one of its defining features. They appear in dense, feathery plumes in a range of colors, including white, pink, red, and purple. These plumes bloom from late spring to late summer, depending on the species and variety.
Hardiness: Astilbe is hardy in USDA zones 3-9 and prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial to full shade. It’s an excellent plant for shady areas where other flowers might struggle.
Pollinators: The flower plumes are attractive to various pollinators, including butterflies and bees, providing them with a valuable food source.
Deer and rabbits: Astilbe is generally resistant to deer and rabbits due to its strong, bitter taste.
Uses: Astilbe is frequently used in borders, shade gardens, along streams or ponds, and as cut flowers. It’s particularly effective when mass planted for a dramatic display.
Shade tolerance: Astilbe is one of the few flowering perennials that can bloom in full shade, making it a valuable asset in a shady garden.