Astilbe ‘Bressingham Beauty’
Plant of the month:
This Astilbe can be found in the Rhododendron Walk.
Astilbes are clump forming; rhizomatous perennials that thrive in damp wooded areas and stream banks in South East Asia and North America.
They are grown for their striking plumes of flowers which in the case of A. ‘Bressingham Beauty’ are bright pink. In the same area you can find A ‘Fanal’ which has dark red flowers, A. ’Irrlicht’ with white flowers and A. pumila with lilac coloured flowers. This gives you the range of colours found in astilbes, also as the panicles fade they dry and become brown, giving a long period of interest.
Astilbes range in height from the short ones such as A. pumila which reaches 45cm to A. ‘Amethyst’ which reaches 90cm in height.
The leaves themselves are handsome quite large and divided, they are fully hardy and can be divided in winter or early spring. The plants should be divided every three years to maintain vigour and flower quality, any old woody rhizomes should be discarded. To get the best from your astilbes they must be grown with plenty of water in fertile humus rich soil.