Astrantia

To help you choose between the many different forms of this lovely plant, I’ve put them all together on one page for you to see. If you see a variety here that doesn’t appear in the catalogue, then please give us a ring and we’ll tell you if it is the production cycle.

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Astrantias in the Garden
Apiales – The order for Umbellifers
Botanical Style Photographs
Astrantia major subsp. involucrata 'Shaggy' ('Margery Fish')

Astrantia major subsp. involucrata ‘Shaggy’ (‘Margery Fish’)

  • A pure white, green-tipped, large flowered astrantia from the ‘Star’ breeding program. We have examined this closely this year and it looks for all the world exactly like ‘Shaggy’, the excellent old variety selected by Margery Fish. It is a fine plant but were as yet unsure why it merits its own name and PBR status.

Astrantia 'Superstar'

Astrantia ‘Superstar’

  • Astrantia major ‘Sunningdale Variegated’. Pretty yellow variegated leaf form of Masterwort originating in 1966. Leaves form a dense mound which is a delight in the Spring garden. Each leaf is generously margined with a yellow border which whitens first with age and then turns green later in the summer so that the plant appears non variegated. Collared flowers, which dry excellently, are white tinted green with a slight hint of pink. One of the tallest of the Astrantia major cultivars at 75cm Happy in sun or part shade with some drainage.

  • Astrantia major 'Sunningdale Variegated'

    Astrantia major ‘Sunningdale Variegated’

Astrantia major 'Sunningdale Variegated'

Astrantia major ‘Sunningdale Variegated’

  • Beautiful perennial with attractive collared flowers which dry excellently. This is a particularly floriferous and strong growing variety with classic colouring. Each flower of Astrantia ‘Buckland’ is relatively flat with bracts that are white, tinged green at the tip, and age pink. The central boss is generous, pink with a dark pink stain at the centre. 75cm Happy in sun or part shade with some drainage

Astrantia 'Buckland'

Astrantia ‘Buckland’

  • These are just odd seedling forms of this lovely perennial. They tend to be pale in the collar with a pink central boss, no less lovely than their named cousins, just without the pedigree. They are ideal for growing in a cool shady spot where they will quickly fill out and seed themselves around.

Astrantia major var. rosea

Astrantia major var. rosea

  • Astrantia major ‘Lola’. A rich pink form of masterwort with flowers that are fairly flat and open. The central pincushion is a tight cluster of tiny pink-maroon true flowers, backed by a darker collar of bracts. An interesting & beautiful plant Happy in sun or part shade with some drainage
Astrantia 'Lola'

Astrantia ‘Lola’

  • Astrantia ‘Roma’. Lovely mid pink cultivar of good constitution. The bracts form a shallow starry cup that is a shade lighter than the tight central pincushion of true flowers. 60cm. An interesting & beautiful plant Happy in sun or part shade with some drainage
Astrantia major 'Roma'

Astrantia major ‘Roma’

  • Astrantia maxima ‘Rosea’. Quite distinctive from the forms of Astrantia major comes this wonderful species. The large triangular bracts are held pretty much flat and are a rich sugary pink. The true flowers from a large dense pin cushion centre. The leaves are fresher green than most and split into 3 lobes. Different in having a spreading habit. Happy in sun or part shade with some drainage. From the Caucasus across to Iran
Astrantia maxima 'Rosea'

Astrantia maxima ‘Rosea’

  • Astrantia major ‘Venice’. A recently selected large flowered masterwort, rich pink with a hint of red. A good strong vigorous variety that flowers really well. Tight clusters of burgundy flowers are surrounded by beautiful bracts.  An interesting & beautiful plant happy in sun or part shade with some drainage. 60cm
Astrantia major 'Venice'

Astrantia major ‘Venice’

  • Astrantia ‘Queen’s Children’. A strong growing variety that has the benefits of being both tall and rich coloured. Flowers have rich dark burgundy bracts with a central boss of dark pink true flowers. The whole effect is enhanced by dark stained foliage at certain times of the year. An interesting & beautiful plant. Happy in sun or part shade with some drainage. 70cm
Astrantia major 'Queen's Children'

Astrantia major ‘Queen’s Children’

  • Astrantia ‘Claret’. A rich dark burgundy red form of masterwort with dark bracts and dark central boss. Astrantia ‘Claret’ is a name that is given to seed raised strains originating from Astrantia ‘Ruby Wedding’. An interesting & beautiful plant. Happy in sun or part shade with some drainage. 60cm
Astrantia major 'Claret'

Astrantia major ‘Claret’

  • Astrantia ‘Moulin Rouge’ is a recently selected large flowered dark red masterwort. Tight clusters of maroon flowers are surrounded by beautiful ray florets. An interesting & beautiful plant happy in sun or part shade with some drainage

Astrantia 'Moulin Rouge'

Astrantia ‘Moulin Rouge’

  • Regarded as perhaps the darkest red Astrantia with a superb maroon/mahogany tipped red collar. Dark maroon stems and similarly tinted foliage. 50cm. At its best in June but smaller flushes of flowers reoccur throughout the season. Worth deadheading to encorage new flowers and to prevent inferior seedlings taking over the clump. For sun or partial shade. Responds to good treatment and feeding. originally raised by Nori Pope in 1988 at Hadspen Gardens in Somerset by crossing Astrantia major with Astrantia maxima.

Astrantia 'Hadspen Blood'

Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’

  • Astrantia major ‘Ruby Star’ is another excellent addition to the red Astrantias. Not so dark as some, but a good strong ruby red with fine dark stems and a good flat starry shape. 30cm

Astrantia major ‘Ruby Star’

Astrantia major ‘Ruby Star’

Astrantia – Masterwort, Mountain Sanicle

Umbelliferae (Apiaceae)

‘Astrantias have a quaint beauty of their own’ – William Robinson.

One of two Genera, (along with Eryngium), that you may be suprised to find classified in the Umbelliferae (Apiaceae),  along with carrots, fennel and cow parsley. However if you realise that each flower is in fact a flower head and then explode that out, the similarities soon become clear. The flowers are produced over a very extended season, from Spring into Summer and dry very well.

Astrantia are natives of alpine meadows and light woodland and prefer a moisture retentive soil. Having said that, they are the most obliging of plants and will grow in a wide variety of sites from sun to shade, moist to fairly dry. In a light woodland situation they will seed moderately freely, producing a drift of plants in a delightful range of flower shades. The wild plant is not common and not native to Britain, but has naturalised in one or two grassy areas.

Most plants encountered will be forms of Astrantia major, but we also offer the lovely and more spreading Astrantia maxima with its larger heads of sugary pink with flatter, broader bracts. Hybrids are rare, but the lovely Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’, produced at Hadspen Garden in Somerset by Nori and Sandra Pope, is said to be a cross between Astrantia major and Astrantia maxima.

They produce dense spreading crowns and make excellent ground cover.

There may be two (or three) derivations for the name Astrantia, either from the Latin ‘Aster’ – a star, in allusion to the starry flowers, or from the Greek ‘astron’ – a star, and ‘anti’ – like, or alternatively as a corruption of ‘Magisterantia’ – masterwort, a name given to it believing it to be bit of a cure-all.

Masterwort can also refer to the plant Imperatoria ostruthium