Family: Saxifragaceae

Scientific Name: Astilbe thunbergii Ostrich Plume

Common Name: Astilbe Ostrich Plume, Astilbe Straussenfeder

DescriptionAn interesting Astilbe with arching plumes of light pink flower heads.
Pronunciation(ah-STIL-bee)
Plant TypePerennials Hardy
Hardiness Zone4-7(8)
SunlightPrefers semi-shaded sites will tolerate more light if the soil is kept moist.
MoistureNeeds moist soil. Plants growing in dry conditions will be small, few blooms and tend to dry up during the hotter days in the summer
Soil & Sitehumusy, rich moist
Flowersdrooping plumes (panicles) of pink flowers
LeavesTernately compound and the leaflets are coarsely serrated. The dissected foliage is an attractive feature of the plant.
Dimensionsreported to reach 40 inches mine have never been over 24-30 inches
MaintenanceDivision of the clumps every 2-3 years will help to maintain the vigor of the plant. Astilbe are heavy feeders and need to be fertilized every year in the spring and also in the early fall. Some of my Astilbe tend to heave in the winter. In the spring I cover the exposed roots with soil, mulch or dug them in. Be careful since many Astilbe are easily pulled out of the soil.
Propagationdivision in the spring
Cultivar OriginAppeared as a mutation of Astilbe Betty Cuprerus.
Misc Facts"Genus name comes from the Greek words a meaning without and stilbe meaning brightness in reference to the dull leaves of some species". (#144)
Author's NotesI have a group of Astilbe in a 1/2 to 3/4 day sunspot for over 10 years and they are a showstopper when blooming. To achieve this they are growing in a bed that is raised a few inches and the soil is naturally constantly wet. The main factors to get maximum performance are proper soil moisture, division and fertilizing.
Notes & Reference#04-Herbaceous Perennial Plants (Allan Armitage), #40-Herbaceous Ornamental Plants (Steven Stills), #54-The Well Tended Garden (DiSabato-Aust), #144-Missouri Botanical Garden's web site (www.missouribotanicalgarden.org)
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