Astilboides tabularis 2This clump-forming perennial is native to northern China and Korea where it grows in moist shady areas. It has large bright peltate leaves up to three feet across that are bright green, lobed and borne on stalks two to three feet long. The small creamy-white flowers are produced in panicles on stalks up to five feet long in early to mid summer and are similar to those of astilbe. Grown for its bold leaves rather for its flowers, shieldleaf adds texture and architectural interest to the garden. It is an excellent choice for a moist shady area or bog garden and is especially appealing around a pond or along a stream.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Small creamy-white flowers in panicles, early to mid-mid summer

Size: 3- 5’ H x 2-4’ W

Light: Part to full shade

Soil: Fertile, humusy, moist; must not dry out.

Hardiness: Zones 5-7

Care: Mulch in summer to retain soil moisture

Pests and Diseases: Slugs; leaves may decline in heat.

Propagation: Division in spring

Companion plants: Ferns, lungworts (Pulmonaria spp), hosta, fringed bleeding heart (Dicentra exima).

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By Karen