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Astilbe thunbergii 'Ostrich Plume'
Item AB209

Astilbe 'Ostrich Plume' has brilliant salmon pink blossoms in a stately, arching plume form. The flowers are very large, open, and drooping, making them very different than the typical astilbe. Astilbe cultivars in the thunbergii hybrid group in which OSTRICH PLUME belongs, are generally tall varieties which bloom late. OSTRICH PLUME features a foliage mound (to 20" tall) of dark green lance-shaped, leaves and large, loose, weeping panicles of flowers on arching stems. Young foliage may be tinged with bronze.

Absolutely magnificent when full grown, especially when sited near a water feature. Plant with lilium for a spectacular effect. This is a great plant to mass or group in shade gardens, woodland gardens and shaded areas of borders or cottage gardens. It is also an excellent large ground cover, edging plant for shady areas and very effective on pond or stream banks.



Size: 2-3 eye • Hardiness: Zones 4-8 • Height: 24-36" • Spacing: 18-24"

Common: Astilbe (False Spirea) • Family: Saxifragaceae

Botanical: Astilbe x thunbergii 'Straussenfeder' (Ostrich Plume)

Flower: Salmon-Pink Plumes • Foliage: Dark Green, Fern-Like Leaves

Bloomtime: June-July • Exposure: Full Shade to Partial Shade

Pests: No serious insect or disease problems. Foliage decline (leaf margins brown up), sometimes with significant dieback, may occur in hot summers and/or periods of drought if soils are not kept moist.

Notes: These are long blooming, very useful, durable plants. Excellent display in rich, moist, acid soil. After the flowers fade, the rich brown plumes may be left to decorate the winter landscape. Shades of green, to greens with bronze, red or purplish red tones highlight the sight of elegant, lacy shapes of the astilbe leaf.

Astilbes are mainstays of shade and woodland gardens. They are clump-forming perennials which feature graceful, fern-like mounds of mostly basal, 2-3 ternately compound leaves, usually with sharply-toothed leaflets, and tiny flowers densely packed into erect to arching, plume-like flower panicles rising above the foliage on slender, upright stems.

Planting instructions: May be planted in any well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly.

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy, organically rich soils. Soils must not be allowed to dry out. If regularly watered, foliage will usually remain attractive throughout the growing season. A summer compost mulch helps retain soil moisture. Removing faded flower stalks will not prolong bloom but may improve plant appearance, particularly if a ground cover look is desired. On the other hand, many gardeners leave the flower stalks in place after bloom because of the continuing ornamental interest of the dried seed heads. Divide clumps when overcrowding occurs (every 3-4 years).

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