Family: Apiaceae
Common Name: Masterwort

These herbaceous perennials are favourites for open spots in gardens of the northern hemisphere. The unusual heads of bristly, star-like flowers are surrounded by bracts resembling parchment and the decorative leaves are deeply divided. They look very pretty in a vase and last well.


A. major is the most widely grown species. It grows to 1 m (3 ft) and can be planted in damp or boggy ground. The flowers are in white or various shades of pink.

A. maxima has bright green leaves and pretty pink flowers. It grows to 60 cm (24 in).

A. minor grows to only 25 cm (10 in). This small species has pale purplish flowers flushed with green.


Astrantia grows well in any ordinary, reasonably rich soil in an open position, providing the site is not too hot or dry. Regular watering is essential. Propagate from seed or division in spring.


Moist and cool areas; zone 6 and above.

Astilbe      Astroloma