Astilbe chinensis var. taquetii ‘Purple Lance’
Imposing, tall upright towers of deep purple-rose are stunning in the summer garden.
And as it such an upright grower, that even gardeners with limited space can have this cracker Astilbe chinensis var. taquetii ‘Purple Lance’.
Elegant towers of purple-rose
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 ‘Purple Lance’ is a fine example.
It produces a dense clump of attractive glossy, dark green foliage with a fern, lushy look.
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.
Exceptionally long blooming
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
Most Astilbe chinensis hybrids have 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.
And all Astilbes enjoy regular water, but happily chinensis hybrids are less demanding for frequent watering than most.
So 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 tries to come closest.
Growing: Astilbe chinensis ‘Purple Lance’
– Height with flowers: Upright, densely packed spears to approx 90cm. in summer.
– Width: Forms a clump of broad, lobed foliage to a diameter of approx. 45-60cm.
– Position: Astilbe chinensis prefer partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light, to full shade. Chinensis hybrids are most 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: Most Astilbe chinensis have a light, sweet fragrance, unlike many 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.