Astilbe simplicifolia 4Star astilbe is a dwarf herbaceous perennial native to Japan. It is a member of the saxifrage family, Saxifragaceae, that also includes Bergenia, coral bells (Heuchera), and foamflower (Tiarella). The plants form compact mounds of mid-green glossy, deeply cut foliage comprising simple leaves about three inches long. Tiny white star-shaped flowers appear in early to mid-summer in airy open panicles that rise above the foliage and are followed by seed heads that persist for a month or two longer. Good choice as a ground cover or for a shade garden and the flowers are good in the vase. The generic name, Astilbe, comes from the Greek words a meaning without, and stilbe meaning brightness, referring to the dull leaves of some species. The specific epithet comes from the Latin words simplex meaning simple/single and folius meaning leaf, referring to the fact that the leaves are not compound as are the leaves of most other Astilbes.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Airy, open panicles of tiny white star-shaped flowers in early to mid-summer

Size: 12-18” H x 24” W

Light: Partial to full shade

Soil: Average, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Care: Low maintenance; divide every 4 years

Pests and Diseases: Powdery mildew, wilt

Propagation: Division

Companion Plants: Ferns, hosta, coral bells with colorful foliage

Outstanding Selection:
‘Sprite’ (hybrid of A. simplicifolia and A. glaberrima var. saxossa; shell pink flowers, bronze flowers; most popular cultivar

By Karen