FALSE GOAT’S BEARD
The granddaddy of them all, with stupendous plumes to at least 1.5m. tall.
Astilbe grandis, False Goat’s Beard is definitely one to look up to and admire.
Soaring creamy plumes with a hint of yellow
Creamy white plumes, with just a hint of yellow, soar up in the summer.
And this wonderful plant can even grow taller with richer soil and more moisture.
The flower heads are impressively long, and look absolutely perfect against the very dark green foliage.
Astilbe grandis, False Goat’s Beard, makes a dramatic background for any shaded bed.
(Scroll down to “Growing” section below for plant details, how / where to grow).
Excellent cut flowers for very big vases
The flower branches of Astilbe grandis make excellent cut flowers, as long as you can find a vase big enough and deep enough. “grandis” does after all mean “large”.
Light up the shade
All Astilbe have a preference for partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light, and giant Astilbe grandis is no exception.
Though they are perfectly happy in full shade, as long as it is well aired.
They can also thrive in sun in cooler districts, but only with a steady and regular supply of water to overcome the heat.
So they require less water when grown in the shade.
Growing: Astilbe grandis
FALSE GOAT’S BEARD
– Height with flowers: The granddaddy of them all, with stupendous plumes to at least 1.5m. tall. This wonderful plant can even grow taller with rich soil and more moisture. Definitely one to look up to and admire. Blooms in summer.
– Width: Forms a clump to a diameter of approx. 1.2m.
– Position: Astilbe prefer partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light. But will also succeed in full shade, as long as there is good air and light levels.
– Soil: Astilbes will give of their best in loam. They love fertilizer and compost, and can happily have their feet in the water permanently if necessary. They enjoy retentive soil, including clay based soils.
And let’s not fool ourselves – no Astilbe is drought hardy. They like regular water, although if it is regular – it does not need to be lots.
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: Fortunately Astilbes are not particularly attractive to rabbits, deer, slugs or snails.
Long season of colour and interest
– Growth: Deciduous hardy perennial.
False Goat’s Beard has wonderful glowing butter-yellow autumn foliage. So they are dormant over winter. Before re-emerging with marvellous new spring foliage. Then flowering again in the 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 the feathery plumes. But they have to try to beat the little native bees who usually get there first.
– Origin: Native to forests and rocky ravines in east and central China and Korea. So another Astilbe more adapted for gardeners with summer humidity.