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Astilbe selections


Astilbe brings a graceful, feathering note to moist, shady landscapes. In cooler climates in the northern third or so of the country, it can tolerate full sun provided it has a constant supply of moisture. In drier sites, however, the leaves will scorch in full sun.

Feathery plumes of white, pink, lavender, or red flowers rise above the finely divided foliage from early to late summer depending on the variety. It will spread slowly over time where well-situated. Most commercially available types are complex hybrids.

Part Sun,Shade
Plant Type:
Plant Height:
6-40 inches tall
Plant Width:
18-30 inches wide
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Groundcover
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Cut Flowers,Attracts Butterflies,Tolerates Wet Soil,Deer Resistant
Top Varieties

Astilbe 'Color Flash' features beautiful foliage that emerges bright green and ages to bronze, copper, and russet, providing season-long interest. Zones 4-8
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Astilbe chinensis 'Pumila' is a low-growing groundcover with glossy green foliage only 6 inches tall. Grape-scented lavender bloom spires reach only 1 foot tall. Zones 4-8
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Astilbe 'Fanal' is one of the best red-flowering types. It blooms in midsummer with dark red flowers on reddish-bronze leaves. It grows to 2 feet tall. Zones 4-8
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Astilbe 'Federsee' bears dense rose-pink blooms on upright stems to 3 feet tall. It has better drought tolerance than most astilbes. Zones 4-8
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Astilbe 'Ostrich Plume' offers large, weeping pink flower clusters that bring elegance to the woodland border. The 30- to 36-inch-tall panicles form in late spring to early summer. Zones 4-8
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Astilbe 'Sprite' won the Perennial Plant of the Year Award in 1994. Its airy light pink flower panicles are highly branched and appear over glossy green-toothed foliage. Zones 4-8
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Astilbe chinensis taquetti is a large plant, growing to 4 feet tall. It bears magenta flowers in mid- to late summer on shiny, dark green leaves. Zones 4-8
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Plant It With

Make the feathery foliage and plumes of astilbe stand out in the shade garden by backing them with the bold blue-green leaves of hosta.


The low mounds of coral bell foliage team well with astilbe. Their airy flower spikes have a see-through effect, so plant heucher in front of the astilbes.

Japanese painted fern

The silvery divided fronds of Japanese painted fern look especially good with the glossy green leaves of astilbe. Both appreciate moist shade.