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Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Perennials, Flowers

Native to alpine woods and meadows of Europe, these are useful plants for woodland or cottage gardens. Summer flowers arise from leafy clumps, appearing in dense, tight clusters surrounded by papery bracts that resemble pincushions or, superficially, daisies. Blossoms make attractive, long-lasting cut flowers and can also be dried for winter arrangements. Spread by underground runners. Die back in winter, even in mild climates. Need good drainage.

Astrantia major ‘Hadspen Blood’ (photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.)
Astrantia major ‘Hadspen Blood’ (photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.)

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Astrantia major

Reaches to 3 ft. high and 1/2 ft. wide, with inch-wide clusters of blossoms that are white-green or white-pink. ‘Abbey Road’, ‘Claret’, ‘Hadspen Blood’, and ‘Ruby Wedding’ have deep pink to purplish red blooms. ‘Sunningdale Variegated’ has leaves heavily marked in shades of cream. A. m. involucrata ‘Shaggy’, 2 1/2 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide, has long, soft-looking, silvery bracts with green tips.


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