Astrantia ‘Hadspen Blood’
Plant of the month: May
Astrantias have been cultivated in Britain since the 16th century and have numerous common names such as ‘Melancholy Gentleman’, ‘Hattie’s Pincushion’ and the more well-known ‘Masterwort’.
The flowers are traditionally white, green or pale pink and create a cool airy feeling in partial shade. A colour break to red has led to an increase in popularity for the genus, this cultivar has sultry, dark red button flowers surrounded by a ruff of bracts above deeply lobed, dark green leaves with almost imperceptible black margins. Looking equally at home in contemporary or cottage-style plantings, it should be planted in fertile, moisture retentive soil in full sun for the best colour, or in part shade and can be increased by division in spring or left to self seed. After flowering, plants can be rejuvenated by cutting back close to the ground and they will respond with fresh new foliage and a later crop of flowers.