Botanical: Astilbe arendsii 'Gladstone'
Common: Astilbe (False Spirea)
General Characteristics: Astilbes are a mainstay 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. One of the arendsii hybrids. The arendsii hybrids are a large group of hybrids involving crosses between A. chinensis, A. japonica, A. thunbergii and A. astilboides and are named after German nurseryman George Arends (1862-1952). Because of the different and sometimes complex parentage of the plants lumped under this hybrid grouping, arendsii hybrids can vary considerably as to plant size, inflorescence shape, leaf color/shape and bloom period. Generally, however, they are early which grow 2.5 to 3 feet tall with ovate to lance-shaped leaflets.