Astilbe chinensis

‘Little Vision in Red’


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Astilbe chinensis ‘Little Vision in Red’

Astilbe chinensis ‘Little Vision in Red’ makes imposing, upright flower towers of dusky ruby-raspberry. 

Elegant towers of ruby

Astilbe chinensis hybrids are very different because they flower in dense packed, very upright lances, rather than the arching, airy feathery plumes of other types. But it does give them a formal, elegant, imposing presence.
(Scroll down to “Growing” section below for plant details & how / where to grow).

Finest quality foliage

All chinensis hybrids are noted for their impressive foliage. And ‘Little Vision in Red’ is a fine example.  
It produces a dense clump of attractive foliage, which emerges deep red in spring and becomes dark bronze by summer.
Then of course it goes butter yellow in autumn.
The leaflets of chinensis hybrids are usually larger than other Astilbes, so the foliage is suitably imposing, just like the flower spears. 

Compact dwarf

‘Little Vision in Red’ is one of the most dwarf of the grand chinensis hybrids.
But it has a great production of flowers and foliage in an upright, smaller space, making it ideal for gardeners with limited space.
Astilbe chinensis hybrids are valued for having a particularly long blooming season, and long lasting flower spears.
And they also have a later flowering period than other Astilbes, so will expand the period you can enjoy those gorgeous Astilbe blooms.

Light sweet scent
‘Little Vision in Red’ also has a light, sweet fragrance, unlike most other Astilbes.
Excellent cut flowers

All Astilbes have commercial quality cut flowers, but Astilbe chinensis hybrids just go that one step better.

More shade or sun

All Astilbes enjoy shaded conditions, but Astilbe chinensis hybrids thrive in more shade than most.
Similarly they are a little more tolerant of sun than other types.
But we must not run away with the idea they they won’t burn in hot sun.

Less water

And all Astilbes enjoy regular water, but happily chinensis hybrids are less demanding for frequent watering than most.
And they can go that little bit longer between drinks. 
However no matter how much we might wish – no Astilbe is drought hardy. Though Astilbe chinensis come closest.

Growing: Astilbe chinensis ‘Little Vision in Red’

Height with flowers: Upright, densely packed spears to approx 40cm. in summer.
Width: Forms a clump of broad, lobed foliage to a diameter of approx. 30cm. 
Position: Astilbe chinensis prefer partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light, to full shade. Chinensis hybrids are amongst shade loving of all Astilbes.
Soil: Astilbes will give of their best in loam. They love fertilizer and compost, and can happily have their feet in the water if necessary. They enjoy retentive soil, including clay based soils, with regular drinks.

Hardy & easy in the right spot

Frost: Astilbe are extremely frost hardy. So they are able to withstand frost to well below -20C.
Care: Astilbes are easy, low care plants, if they are given their preferred conditions. Then the only work required is to trim off spent flower stems to encourage a repeat of autumn blooms. And finally to chop them to the ground at the end of autumn.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: I would be heartbroken if marauding critters chewed off my gorgeous Astilbes. But fortunately they are not particularly attractive to rabbits, deer, slugs or snails.  

Long season of colour and interest

Growth: Deciduous hardy perennial.
And Astilbe chinensis have wonderful bright flame-butter yellow autumn foliage. So they are dormant over winter. Before re-emerging with marvellous red new spring foliage. Then flowering again in the spring and summer. So they have a very long season of interest in the garden. 
Beneficial for wildlife: Butterflies are particularly attracted to the myriad of tiny nectar rich blossoms that make up feathery Astilbe plumes.
Fragrance: ‘Little Vision in Red’ also has a light, sweet fragrance, unlike most other Astilbes.
Origin: No prizes for guessing Astilbe chinensis come from the forests of China. However they have been hybridized, bred and treasured by gardeners since time immemorial. 


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