Astilbe x arendsii ‘Irrlicht’
Astilbe x arendsii ‘Irrlicht’ has pink buds opening to elegant white plumes, set off by beautiful deep emerald-green foliage.
It glows in the shade like moonlight, and “Irrlicht’ actually means “moonlight”
(Scroll down to “Growing” section below for plant details, how / where to grow).
Elegant white & deep emerald green
Astilbe x arendsii ‘Irrlicht’ produces a succession of feathery plumes. and slowly opens the myriad of tiny blossoms that make up each plume. So it has a long season of commercial quality cut flowers.
‘Irrlicht’ is amongst the first to start blooming.
Aglow in the shade
The x arendsii hybrids are amongst the most shade loving of all Astilbes. So they have a preference for partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light. They will even make a go of it in quite heavy shade.
Growing: Astilbe x arendsii ‘Irrlichtl’
– Height with flowers: Feathery plumes to approx 60cm. over late-spring-summer
– Width: Forms a clump of refined foliage to a diameter of approx. 45-60cm.
– Position: Astilbe x arendsii prefer partial shade and woodland conditions with dappled light. But ‘Irrlicht’ will also succeed in full shade, and is one of the most shade tolerant of all Astilbe.
– 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.
Hardy & easy in the right spot
– Frost: Astilbe x arendsii hybrids are extremely frost hardy, and able to withstand frost to well below -20C.
– Care: Astilbes are easy, low care, and easily pleased if they are given their preferred conditions. The only work is to trim off spent flower stems to encourage autumn repeat blooms, and to chop 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 x arendsii hybrids have a wonderful glowing golden autumn foliage. So they are dormant over winter. Before re-emerging with marvellous red and russet new spring foliage. Then flowering again in the spring and summer. So they have a very long season of interest in the garden.
Astilbe x arendsii ‘Irrlicht’ has particularly lovely foliage colours with red-plum hues in spring. deepening to emerald green over summer.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Butterflies are particularly attracted to the myriad of tiny nectar rich blossoms that make up feathery Astilbe plumes.
A tale of survival despite the bombs
– Origin: The gorgeous Astilbe x arendsii hybrids were developed by George Arends in Germany during the first half of the 20th century. George doggedly made a series of complex and time consuming crosses and backcrosses, between four different Astilbe types. Finally coming up with his x arendsii hybrids.
His guiding aim was always to develop ever more intense and beautiful flower colours, together with refined and colourful foliage.
Despite his nursery being heavily bombed during WWII, George forged on. And by the mid 1950’s, he had succeeded admirably.
So today his arendsii hybrids remain the very best and most popular of all Astilbes.
George had cornered the market, with some 350 plants bearing the name x arendsii.
It is a lovely footnote, that his nursery still survives in Germany in the 21st century, and it is now run by George’s great-grand-daughter.