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Plant Profile: Great Masterwort (Astrantia major)

Popular in Britain but little known here, masterwort is a very fine garden plant for cool climates and an excellent cut flower with a long vase life of 10 to 14 days. It thrivse in moist shady areas with soils rich in organic matter. The flower heads are actually a cluster of tiny white to pink flowers surrounded by a collar of colored bracts that set the flowers off to advantage. Cool night temperatures below 70 degrees are necessary for good growth and flower production.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Small white or pink flowers are borne late spring to early summer in dense umbels surrounded by colored bracts; flower heads are 2-3” across, with good bloom time and vase life.

Foliage: Basal toothed leaves and have 3-5 lobes; leaves on stem have wide petiole> which clasp the stem.

Size: 2-3’ H x 1.5’ W

Light: Part shade

Soil: Organically rich, moist, well-drained; must never dry out

Hardiness: Zones 4-7

Care: Deadhead to prevent unwanted reseeding (may not be true to color)

Pests and Diseases: None of importance

Propagation: Division of roots in autumn or early spring; spreads by runners to form good sized clumps.

Companion plants: Astilbe, hosta, fringed bleeding heart, ferns

Outstanding Selections:

      ‘Shaggy’ (extra long collar of pink bracts)

 

    ‘Sunningdale Variegated’ (Light green leaves splashed with yellow and cream)

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