(Masterwort) Among the loveliest border perennials, the distinctive, papery flowers look like small pin cushions. These are carried in upright sprays on wiry, branched stems above a mound of deeply cut leaves. When I started in the nursery trade there were just a few varieties, but astrantias readily cross pollinate so there are now many more to choose from. Some are very similar – so similar it is difficult to tell the difference.
Left to right: Astrantia 'Buckland', Astrantia major 'Rubra', Astrantria maximia
Needs Given well-drained soil that remains moist, will grow in sun, partial shade, and even fairly shady spots
Great for Middle of a border
Bees & Butterflies Yes
For Cutting Yes
Care Cut back (except A. maxima) after flowering to prevent the plant seeding around and to encourage more flowers. If you leave the seedheads untouched they will remain in a lovely brown shape for several months.
Good with Any perennial that likes a soil that a soil that does not dry out entirely through the summer. I love them with Alchemilla mollis, Campanula persicifolia, Veronicastrum and any mounding perennials.
Left to right: Astrantia major 'Sunningdale Variegated', Astrantia 'Roma', Astrantia major 'Shaggy'