Astrantia major ‘Wol’s Best Red’
Astrantia major ‘Wol’s Best Red’ is my personal favourite for rich colour, plus reliable and long flowering.
I cant be without the lacy, dainty haze of wine colouring it creates in the garden.
(Please see “Growing” section below for plant details and growing advice)
A haze of dainty pincushions
‘Wol’s Best Red’ bears a cloud of deep wine red pincushion flowers.
Which hover on tall, branching stems to create that lovely hazy, cloudy look.
Additionally they make an excellent cut flower, and are prized by professional florists.
Astrantias are very long lasting flowers in vases, either cut fresh or dried.
Long and prolific blooming
Once they get started in late spring, there is no stopping Astrantias all summer.
They bloom their heads off.
Astrantia major ‘Wol’s Best Red’ flowers from late spring through summer continuously.
Growing: Astrantia major ‘Wol’s Best Red’
– Height with flowers: 70cm approx.
– Width: Perennial clump to a diameter of 60cm approx.
– Position: An ideal position is where the plant receives a few hours of Morning Sun and then Dappled Light or Partial Shade for the rest of the day.
Astrantias are shade lovers. So easterly facing positions are perfect.
They enjoy humidity.
– Water-wise: Astrantias are not particularly thirsty plants, once established in their preferred shaded position. So normal, average garden watering is sufficient.
Hardy in the right spot
– Soil: Astrantias are not particularly fussy about soil type. So they will tolerate a range of soil conditions, from quite light soils to clay and heavier soils.
And they are also obligingly tolerant of either alkaline (lime) soils or acid woodland type soils.
Plus they can tolerate the soil being waterlogged for periods. They do enjoy mulch.
– Frost: Astrantias are extremely frost hardy, as they can shrug off frosts down to at least -20C.
– Growth: Astrantias make a neat perennial clump of dainty foliage.
With massed blooms above on tall, branching stems.
There is nothing to dislike about the way Astrantias grow.
As they are polite and lovely shade lovers.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees as well as all types of beneficial pollinators, are always busy around the flock of flowers.
– Care: Easy to grow and very little maintenance required. Cut back close to ground level after flowering to rejuvenate growth.
And do harvest stems for cut flowers, as this will only promote even more flowering.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Astrantias are generally left alone by our nibbling enemies, and they are also rarely if ever troubled by pests and diseases.
They are easy, hardy growers in the right place.
– Origin: Astrantia major is native to the Balkan Peninsula and Caucasus areas of Eastern Europe.
However ‘Wol’s Best Red’ is the result of many years of careful breeding and selection in the Essex garden of my friend Wol. It really is his best ever red variety. So we imported it to Australia many years ago.