Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Sprite’
Shell pink soft blossoms in airy sprays, together with particularly ferny fine foliage, make Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Sprite’ one of the most elegant of all the family.
Elegant, airy feathers of shell pink
The ferny leaves emerge in spring shades of pinky-reds. And then they turn to spectacular fire-oranges in autumn.
But ‘Sprite’ dances her way to the top of the showbill in summer, when she erupts with fine, whispy feathers in delicate shades of shell pink. The flower branches arch and fountain in such an elegant way.
(Scroll down to “Growing” section below for plant details & how / where to grow).
‘Sprite’ is an elegant dwarf plant, but with a big production of flowers and colour from a small space.
And even the foliage clump is dainty and refined. So ‘Sprite’ is ideal for smaller gardens and good enough for a front row performance.
Astilbe simplicifolia hybrids are notable for having a longer flowering season than other types of Astilbes.
Aglow in the shade
Astilbe simplicifolia hybrids originated in Japan. So they have a preference for partial shade and dappled light. However they will also accept quite heavy shade.
Twice awarded the top gong
Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Sprite’ took the gardening world by storm when she was first released in the 1990’s.
‘Sprite’ was awarded the prestigious “Award of Garden Merit” by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993, and then went on to also win “Perennial of the Year” in 1994.
‘Sprite’ is worth a place in any garden.
Growing: Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Sprite’
– Height with flowers: Feathery plumes to approx 25cm. over late-spring-summer
– Width: Forms a clump of broad, lobed foliage to a diameter of approx. 45-60cm.
– Position: Astilbe simplicifolia prefer partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light. But ‘Sprite’ will also succeed in full shade. Simplicifolia hybrids are appreciative of shade, and even full shade.
– 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.
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 simplicifolia have a wonderful bright yellow-red 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.
– Origin: Astilbe simplicifolia originate from the forests and woods of Japan. However they have been hybridized, bred and cosseted over many centuries to become the aristocrats they are today.