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Hybrid Astilbe Astilbe x arendsii

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ah-STIL-bee BY ar-END-see-eye
Description

Hybrid Astilbe is a popular and colorful perennial with bright floral plumes and green to bronze fern-like foliage. They are wonderful plants to bring color to your garden. Depending on the variety, they will provide blooms from late spring to fall. With proper moisture, the foliage remains attractive throughout its blooming period. They grow about 24 to 36 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide. The showy flowers are excellent for floral cuttings or use in a dried arrangement.

Astilbes are native to China, Japan, and Korea. Astilbe x arendsii are hybrids and are the result of crosses between Astilbe Chinensis, Astilbe Japonica, Astilbe thunergii, and Astilbe astilboides. These hybrids were developed in Germany by George Arends in the 1920s.

The genus name, Astilbe, is derived from the Greek words meaning "without brightness."  This is said to reference some of the species having dull leaves. The species name refers to George Arends who developed the hybrids.

Their root system is rhizomatous. The hybrids develop into mounds of fern-like foliage and have erect or arching feathery plumes with tiny blooms. The many different varieties offer a range of colored blooms from red, pink, peach, purple, and white. The foliage varies from medium green, dark green, and bronze. Depending on the variety the bloom times vary from late spring, early summer, mid-summer, late summer, and fall. Their fruits are dried seed heads. The spent flowers and dried seedheads are ornamental through the fall and winter months.

They prefer shady and moist sites. The soil needs to be organically rich and well-drained. The plant may grow in full sun but will require constant moisture. They are propagated by division or seeds. It is best to divide the plants about every 4 years, preferably in the spring or fall. The plant attracts butterflies and is resistant to rabbits and deer. 

Hybrid Astilbe is an excellent plant for perennial borders, woodlands, containers, and groundcovers. They perform well in shade gardens, wet sites, or near ponds and streams. Consider adding this plant to your garden for a splash of color and added interest in your landscape.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Herb with ternately compound leaves
  • Leaves with swollen petiole joints*
  • Terminal pyramidal panicles of numerous, small flowers

Insects, Diseases, and Other Problems: The plant has no serious insect or disease issues. Possible insect pests include Whitefly, Japanese beetle, and Black vine weevil. Possible diseases include powdery mildew, wilt, bacterial leaf spot, and Cercospora leaf spot. In hot summer or periods of drought, the foliage may decline if the soil is not kept moist.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'America' or 'Amerika'
    Violet-rose blooms
  • 'Amethyst'
    Lilac-purple blooms
  • 'August Light'
    Scarlet red blooms, red foliage in the spring then turns green
  • 'Bridal Veil'
    Pure white blooms that fade to cream color
  • 'Diamond' or 'Diamant'
    Pure white bloom with medium green leaves
  • 'Erica' or 'Erika'
    Pink blooms and bronze tinted foliage
  • 'Fanal'
    Deep red blooms and dark green leaves
  • 'Federsee'
    Rosy-pink blooms and medium green leaves
  • 'Gloria Purpurea'
    Violet-pink blooms
  • 'Grete Pungel'
    Peach-pink blooms
  • 'Mars'
    Violet-rose blooms
  • 'Radius'
    Pink blooms
  • 'Venus'
    Vivid pink blooms and medium-green foliage
  • 'White Glory' or 'Weisse Gloria'
    Pure white blooms and dark green foliage
'America' or 'Amerika', 'Amethyst', 'August Light', 'Bridal Veil', 'Diamond' or 'Diamant', 'Erica' or 'Erika', 'Fanal', 'Federsee', 'Gloria Purpurea', 'Grete Pungel', 'Mars', 'Radius', 'Venus', 'White Glory' or 'Weisse Gloria'
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#water garden#perennials#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#cut flowers#shade garden#rabbit resistant#flower arrangements#cpp#peach flowers#summer flowers#deer resistant#border planting#dried seedhead#fantz#dried arrangements#wet soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'America' or 'Amerika'
    Violet-rose blooms
  • 'Amethyst'
    Lilac-purple blooms
  • 'August Light'
    Scarlet red blooms, red foliage in the spring then turns green
  • 'Bridal Veil'
    Pure white blooms that fade to cream color
  • 'Diamond' or 'Diamant'
    Pure white bloom with medium green leaves
  • 'Erica' or 'Erika'
    Pink blooms and bronze tinted foliage
  • 'Fanal'
    Deep red blooms and dark green leaves
  • 'Federsee'
    Rosy-pink blooms and medium green leaves
  • 'Gloria Purpurea'
    Violet-pink blooms
  • 'Grete Pungel'
    Peach-pink blooms
  • 'Mars'
    Violet-rose blooms
  • 'Radius'
    Pink blooms
  • 'Venus'
    Vivid pink blooms and medium-green foliage
  • 'White Glory' or 'Weisse Gloria'
    Pure white blooms and dark green foliage
'America' or 'Amerika', 'Amethyst', 'August Light', 'Bridal Veil', 'Diamond' or 'Diamant', 'Erica' or 'Erika', 'Fanal', 'Federsee', 'Gloria Purpurea', 'Grete Pungel', 'Mars', 'Radius', 'Venus', 'White Glory' or 'Weisse Gloria'
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#water garden#perennials#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#cut flowers#shade garden#rabbit resistant#flower arrangements#cpp#peach flowers#summer flowers#deer resistant#border planting#dried seedhead#fantz#dried arrangements#wet soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Astilbe
    Family:
    Saxifragaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia, hybrid origin
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 4 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Mounding
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are dried seed heads.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Terminal, erect to arching, narrow to broad pyramidal panicles; lateral branches densely clustered, short. Small, numerous, red, peach, pink, white to lavender; petals 5.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Compound, usually 2-3 ternately compound, stipulate; rachis swollen and conspicuously jointed at base and junction of petolies; leaflets ovate-oblong, short-acuminate, cuneate, serrate to doubly serrate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Rabbits
    Wet Soil