Astilbe arendsii1.jpg
Type:Herbaceous perennials
Soil requirements:Moist, well-drained, fertile soils.
Root:Tough, woody rootstocks

Astilbe is a genus of 18 species perennial, herbaceous flowering plants, within the family Saxifragaceae. Some species are commonly known as False Goat's Beard, and False Spirea. Astilbe species are native Asia and North America.

They are cultivated by gardeners as hardy herbaceous perennials, for their large handsome, often fern-like foliage, and dense, feathery plumes of flowers. They require a peaty soil for their successful cultivation. Numerous hybrids have been raised. The fruit is a 3-lobed capsule which separates into follicles when ripe.


Clumping perennial herbs with basal and cauline leaves that are 2-3 ternate, with serrate margins. Flowers are tn terminal panicles, perfect or monecious, sepals and petals 4 or 5, stamens 8-10.

Growing conditionsEdit

Good garden soils in sun to dense shade.


Species of Astilbe include:

  • Astilbe biternata (Vent.) Britt.
  • Astilbe chinensis (Maxim.) Franch. & Sav.
  • Astilbe crispa (Arends) Bergmans
  • Astilbe grandis Stapf ex E. H. Wilson
  • Astilbe japonica (C.Morren & Decne.) A.Gray
  • Astilbe longicarpa (Hayata) Hayata
  • Astilbe macroflora Hayata
  • Astilbe microphylla Knoll
    • Astilbe microphylla var. riparia Hatus.
  • Astilbe platyphylla H. Boiss.
  • Astilbe rivularis Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don
    • Astilbe rivularis var. angustifoliolata H. Hara
    • Astilbe rivularis var. myriantha (Diels) J. T. Pan
  • Astilbe rubra Hook. f. & Thomson
  • Astilbe sikokumontana Koidz.
  • Astilbe simplicifolia Makino
  • Astilbe thunbergii (Siebold & Zucc.) Miq.
    • Astilbe thunbergii var. congesta H. Boissieu
    • Astilbe thunbergii var. fujisanensis (Nakai) Ohwi
    • Astilbe thunbergii var. hachijoensis (Nakai) Ohwi
    • Astilbe thunbergii var. kiusiana Hara
    • Astilbe thunbergii var. longipedicellata Hatus.
    • Astilbe thunbergii var. okuyamae (Hara) Ohwi
    • Astilbe thunbergii var. shikokiana (Nakai) Ohwi
    • Astilbe thunbergii var. terrestris (Nakai) Ohwi

Commonly accepted cultivar groups are:

  • Astilbe Arendsii Group
  • Astilbe Crispa Group
  • Astilbe Japonica Group
  • Astilbe Simplicifolia Group


Grown for their showy flowers and fern-like foliage.


Very easy to care for, requiring only to be cut back in spring before the new growth emerges



Pests and diseasesEdit

Bacterial Leaf Spots

Powdery Mildew

Leaf Spots






  • Flora of China: Astilbe
  • Svenskt kulturväxtlexikon
  • The plants database
  • P. D. Strausbaugh and Earl L. Core (1977). Flora of West Virginia (Second ed.). Seneca Books, Grantsville, W. Virginia. pp. 446. 
  • Christopher Brickell and Judith D. Zuk (1997). The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. DK Publishing. pp. 151–152. 
  • Staff of the L. H. Bailey Hortorium (1976). Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada. Cornell University Press. pp. 125–126. 
  • Cranshaw, Whitney (2004). Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs. Princeton University Press. pp. 581. 
  • Pippa Greenwood, Andrew Halstead, A.R. Chase, Daniel Gilrein (2000). American Horticultural Society Pests & Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying, and Treating Plant Problems (First Edition ed.). Dorling Kindersley (DK) Publishing, inc.. pp. 198.