The Astrantia plant, also called asterisk, is a representative of the Umbrella family. Such flowers grow in European territory, as well as in the Caucasus mountains. It is assumed that the name of the genus consists of the words "star" and "opposite", referring to the shape of flowers and leaves of the bracts of Astrantia. This genus includes about 10 different species.
Astrantia are widespread in England and the USA. In their culture, the flower has been used since the 16th century and today has many decorative varieties. Astrantia is unpretentious and tolerates both dry periods and frosty winters.
Description of astrania
Representatives of the genus Astrantia are herbaceous perennials growing from rhizomes. They have erect shoots with little foliage. The stems of the bushes practically do not branch. The flower grows about 15-90 cm in length.
The leaves have a finger-like structure or several (3-7) lobes with a serrated edge. The leaf blades are collected in a rosette at the base of the plant. Astrantia inflorescences are umbrellas, consisting of many small flowers. Most often they are white or red-pink in color. Thanks to the bright bracts-wrappers, the inflorescences look even more elegant. It is due to their leaves that the umbrellas of the Astrantia resemble stars. Their size can be equal to the size of the inflorescence itself or exceed it.
Blooming astrantia is very long - it lasts from late spring to mid-autumn. During this period, the bushes attract bees and pollinating insects, although their flowers do not have a pronounced aroma.
Gardening collection. Astrantia
Brief rules for growing astrania
The table shows the short rules for growing Astrantia in the open field.
|Landing||Planting in open ground is carried out when warm weather is finally established on the street - at the very end of spring.|
|Lighting level||Flowers are planted in a light or semi-shady place under the sparse crown of bushes or trees. Moreover, some varieties need exactly a shady location.|
|Watering mode||The plant is drought-resistant, so you will have to water it only during a particularly prolonged drought.|
|The soil||The land for planting should be loose and fertile, and its composition does not play a special role.|
|Top dressing||Frequent feeding of the plant is not needed, they are fed only once a season - in early spring, using a complex mineral composition.|
|Bloom||Flowering usually begins in late spring and lasts until mid-autumn.|
|Pruning||It is necessary to cut off all wilted inflorescences, and thereby make the bushes more luxuriant and neat.|
|Reproduction||Seeds, dividing the bush.|
|Diseases||Fungal infections due to improper care.|
Growing Astrantia from seeds
Although Astrantia is successful in self-seeding, these seedlings do not retain the full set of parental traits. To preserve a certain variety, other propagation methods should be used.
Fresh seeds of Astrantia need stratification, so it is recommended to sow them in late autumn. The sprouts that have appeared in the spring will only have to thin out. But in this case, the risk of freezing of seedlings increases due to spring cold snaps. To avoid this, you can try to grow flowers in a seedling way in the spring. Such seeds are sown after preliminary (2-3 months) storage in the refrigerator.
For sowing, a light and nutritious soil will be required, the seeds are distributed superficially and only lightly sprinkled with earth. After that, the container with the crops is covered with foil or glass and placed in a warm place (about 20-23 degrees). With the emergence of seedlings, the film is removed.
In spring, Astrantia can be sown directly to the garden bed - when the earth has time to warm up well. With this sowing, the seeds will also have to be stratified in advance, although in some cases producers offer already stratified seed that does not need additional processing.
When the sprouts appear, the containers with them must be transferred to the light. After a couple of weeks after germination, they should be thinned out. The rest of the care will consist in periodic watering as the top layer of the earth dries out, as well as in carefully loosening the soil in the container. The room with the seedlings should be ventilated, but the cold air should not get on the seedlings.
When Astrantia form a pair of true leaves, they are dived into individual containers using the soil of the same composition. Approximately 10 days before transplanting, the seedlings begin to harden, transferring them to the air every day and increasing their time outside. When the seedlings finally adapt to the changed conditions, they can be moved into the ground.
Landing Astrantia in open ground
The best time to plant
Landing of Astrantia in open ground is carried out when warm weather finally settles on the street - at the very end of spring. Flowers are planted in a light or semi-shady place under the sparse crown of bushes or trees. The degree of illumination can affect the color of umbrellas and bracts. Usually in shady corners, it becomes paler, but still retains its attractiveness. At the same time, some varieties of astrantia need precisely a shady location.
The land for planting should be loose and fertile, and its composition does not play a special role. The main thing is to avoid too waterlogged areas. To improve the appearance of plantings in clay soil, you can add several buckets of humus and a bucket of sand for loosening. In too light soil, where there is already enough sand, only humus is introduced.
Due to the compact size of the roots, Astrantia can be grown not only in flower beds, but also use their bushes to decorate rock gardens and rockeries. The shade tolerance of certain varieties makes it possible to turn astrantia into a part of the compositions of trees and shrubs. Flowers are no less well able to develop near water bodies. The coolness of these places contributes to the growth of their split foliage.
Astrantia. GardenOwn Hands
When planting seedlings on a flowerbed, a distance of about 35 cm is maintained between them. During transplanting, it is important to maintain the same level of burial. The soil next to the bushes is lightly tamped, and then abundant watering is carried out. Astrantia seedlings should bloom for about 3-4 years of cultivation. For a couple of years, the plantings grow, closing in and forming a continuous flower meadow.
Astrantia are considered one of the most unpretentious ornamental plants. The bushes are drought-resistant, so they will have to be watered only during a particularly prolonged drought. But even in this case, watering can be relatively rare: in order to achieve flowering Astrantia, you should moisten the soil in the flower garden at least once a week. In order for the flowering wave to take place in two stages, the plantings should be watered a little more often - the soil near the bushes should constantly remain slightly moist (but not soggy).
After each watering, the soil next to the flowers should be loosened, and all weeds should be pulled out. Loosening should be done especially carefully so as not to damage the fragile roots of the planting. In order for such procedures to have to be carried out less often, you should mulch the flower bed with a layer of humus or peat.
Frequent feeding of Astrantia is also not needed. If the bushes were planted in sufficiently fertile soil, they are fed only once a season - in early spring, using a complex mineral composition. If the bushes have been growing on depleted soil for more than three years, a second top dressing is carried out around July, adding potassium and phosphorus to the beds. It is recommended to use liquid formulations, and when adding dry ones, water the bushes immediately. The foliar application method is also suitable, as well as the use of long-acting phosphorus fertilizers - they are laid in the soil even when the plants are planted.
Astrantia is an unpretentious beauty
Timely cleaning of bushes from wilting inflorescences will help prolong the flowering wave and prevent unwanted self-seeding. If you cut off all wilted heads after the first flowering, you can stimulate the development of buds, and thereby make the bushes more luxuriant and neat.
In rainy or windy weather, the bushes of tall Astrantia can lie down from strong gusts or heavy rainfall. To avoid this, you can tie them to a support.
Astrantia can grow in one place for a long time. The deadline for growing on one bed is 10 years, although flower growers recommend replanting plants after 5-7 years. This will preserve their decorative appearance.
Astrantia after flowering
How to collect seeds
To collect quality seeds in blooming Astrantia, you should notice the largest and most beautiful umbrellas of the inflorescences. When they begin to dry, thin bags made of gauze are put on them. This will allow the seeds to be collected without letting them fall to the ground. When they are completely dry, the head is cut off, laid out on paper and sent to dry in a ventilated room. After drying, the seeds are removed, sorted out, and then folded into a paper bag. It should be stored in a dry and dark place.
Preparing for winter
In order for Astrantia to better endure the coming winter, in autumn its shoots are cut almost to the very ground. After that, the flower bed is mulched with a layer of humus or peat. The youngest bushes can be additionally covered with spruce branches, the rest of the plants usually do not need such protection. In the spring, they try to remove the shelter early, as soon as the weather is sufficiently warm. Otherwise, the bushes may begin to weed out.
Reproduction of Astrantia
Like most perennial species, Astrantia are capable of reproducing both by seed and by fission. Due to the fact that seedlings may not transmit the characteristics of the desired variety, in order to preserve the necessary plants, the lateral shoots should be separated from them or the rhizomes themselves should be divided. The procedure is carried out in the spring - before the formation of foliage, or in the fall - when the bushes stop growing.
Although the Astranians are not very fond of transplants, they are still carried out periodically. Due to the separation of the lateral processes, the overgrown mother plant is rejuvenated, and its flowering becomes more luxuriant in the next season. To obtain pieces of rhizome, the bush is pulled out of the ground and its roots are divided into parts. The resulting divisions are distributed in separate holes, maintaining a distance of about 45 cm. A little humus should be added to each planting hole. In about a month, the divisions will take root and begin to develop. In the case of an autumn planting, shoots may appear next spring. A year later, these bushes will reach the size of adult plants. Such methods allow you to get flowering plants after about 3 years.
Sometimes the rhizomes of flowers, like their seeds, can also be found on sale. In the case of winter acquisition, they can be planted in seedling pots, watered, put in a warm place and grown up before the landing date. It is recommended to add vermiculite to the soil for the cuttings. Even small pieces of root can gradually form a strong and healthy shrub. Plants should be watered as needed, when the soil in the container is almost completely dry. Such astrances are transferred to the street by the end of spring, along with other seedlings. Root cuttings purchased in the warm season can be immediately placed in the garden.
Pests and diseases
Astrantia have excellent resistance to diseases and pests; only inadequate care can weaken the bushes. For example, excessive watering and too dense arrangement of bushes lead to the appearance of fungal infections. Treatment with fungicides will help from them. To avoid such diseases, you should follow the schedule of watering and loosening, this is especially important if Astrantia is grown on heavy acidic soil.
One of the possible color pests is slugs. They devour the foliage of Astrania, which makes the bushes less attractive. Slugs are collected from plantings by hand or traps are used by placing them next to the beds. A special drug aimed at combating gastropods will also help.
Types and varieties of astrantia with photos and names
Of all the existing types of astrantia in gardens, the following can usually be found:
Astrantia major, or large astrantia
The species lives in Eastern European countries, as well as in the Baltic States. Astrantia major grows in meadows and forests. There, these flowers can grow significantly, forming bright carpets, but today they are more often seen in gardens than in their natural environment. These Astrantia reach a height of 70 cm, and their diameter is about 40 cm. The rosette is made up of green leaf blades of 3-7 lobes, each of which is located on a long petiole. The flowers are light pink in color. They form umbrellas up to 5 cm in size. The bracts are pinkish or pale green in color. The flowering period begins in the summer and lasts just over a month. In gardening, this type has been used since the end of the 16th century. Common varieties include:
- Moulin rouge - deep red umbrellas are combined with a very dark wrapper. Inflorescences of bushes planted on the sunny side look most beautiful.
- Ruby Wedding - bushes up to 65 cm high have dark red flowers. This variety, on the other hand, prefers a shady location.
- Claret - the wrappers of this variety are slightly transparent. Like umbrellas, they are burgundy in color. The size of the bushes reaches 55 cm. Their flowering begins in July and lasts almost until October. A semi-shady or shady corner is suitable for planting. In addition to the usual planting in beds, this variety is also suitable for container cultivation.
- Diva - differs in rich red flowers, complemented by lighter bracts. Bushes grow up to 70 cm in height. Both sunny and shady places are suitable for growing them.
- Venice - forms spectacular ruby umbrellas.
- Lars - bushes up to 75 cm tall are decorated with pink umbrellas, as if producing the effect of radiance.
- Sunningdale Variegata - in this variety, the inflorescences have a light lavender color.
- Rosensimphony - the bushes reach 70 cm, the inflorescences are pink in color, the color of the wrappers is similar, but paler.
- Rosea - Bushes up to 60 cm in size are distinguished by bright pink flowers and foliage with a spotted pattern.
- Snowstar - snow-white inflorescences are combined with a greenish wrapper. The height of the bushes is 55-70 cm. Such plantings are preferred by shady or semi-shady places in the garden.
- Abbey road - purple colored umbrellas are decorated with a darker wrapper.
Caucasian species, distinguished by spectacular flowers and lush, elegant foliage. Astrantia maxima forms shrubs measuring 40 to 70 cm in height. They have long rhizomes and tripartite foliage. Flowering occurs in late summer or early autumn. Umbellate inflorescences reach 4.5 cm in diameter, they are made up of small flowers of shades of pink. The color of the wrapper is light red, each leaf reaches a centimeter in length.
Western European species, most often found in mountainous areas. Astrantia minor forms 1 meter bushes, their leaves with long petioles can have 3-7 lobes. Inflorescences about 3 cm in size are composed of white-pink flowers. Blossoming can be admired from the middle of summer. The species has been used in gardens since the middle of the 19th century.
The species has a palmate-separated green foliage.Astrantia carniolica inflorescences are most often white. The most famous variety of this species, Rubra, has rich reddish-pink umbrellas. Its bushes are about 70 cm high. Flowers appear from late May to August.
All varieties of astrantia can be grouped according to the size of the bushes. The smallest of them reach only 30 cm, the medium-sized ones vary from 30 to 60 cm, and the tall ones can grow up to a meter.
Other types of astrantia can also be found in the gardens: Bavarian, Bieberstein, hellebore, and also three-cut - a rather rare species. Outwardly, it resembles a small Astrantia and has leaves that include three lobes. The size of the plant is slightly more compact - about 60 cm. Pink-colored inflorescences appear in the first half of summer.
Astrantia in landscape design
These plants are widely used to decorate the site, planting them in flower beds and mixborders. Astrantia go well with other flowering perennials, which are also undemanding to care for and can produce a landscape effect of a semi-wild plant. Shrubs can also look good with foliage and cereals. Suitable for astrania and for curb planting, and can also be used for cutting. Star inflorescences stand in the water for a long time, retaining an attractive appearance, in addition, they can also be used to form dry bouquets. Dried umbrellas retain their shape and color, while not only inflorescences, but also fruits can be included in such compositions.
Astrantia, a star in the garden
author Sobolevskaya A., photo by author
Many gardeners are interested in what plants with long and abundant flowering can be grown in the country without a lot of time and effort, as well as successfully growing in a shaded area of the garden. These include astrantia - an unpretentious perennial, which is still rarely found in Russian gardens.
Once I heard the amazing name of an unusual flower - "astrantia". It turns out that there is a second name for this attractive plant belonging to the umbrella family - "star".
Description of the plant
It reaches about 80 cm in height. The plant loves open spaces that are abundant in sunlight: forest edges, glades, meadows (ordinary and subalpine). Its natural habitats are Eurasia, Asia Minor and the Caucasus.
In the United Kingdom and the United States, these flowers are actively cultivated and are used by both amateur gardeners and owners of large agricultural complexes.
The flower is resistant to diseases, frosts, pests and is quite unpretentious: it does not need constant care. The plant attracts bees to the site, as it is a honey plant, which is great if an apiary is nearby.
Astrances are also loved by florists, because they keep their shape fresh for a long time and look great when drawing up dry bouquets.
The plant blooms profusely from June to early autumn
Site about a garden, a summer residence and houseplants.
In June last year, I bought two Astrantia bushes with white and pink flowers on the market. The leaves were covered with large brown spots: apparently, the second consecutive rains and howling summer affected.
At home, she washed the roots of the white astrantia from the soil and stood for 30 minutes. in the preparation "Maxim", diluted according to the instructions. Then she planted both bushes on the garden bed (pink - with a lump of earth, pouring out the remains of the drug under it). A few days later I walked over the leaves with the "Fitosporin" solution (according to the instructions), repeated the treatment after 10 days.
The rains began. After them, the plants began to look more cheerful and have released flower stalks. But the spots continued to appear, and there were more of them on the pink Astrantia. Then I buried 2 tablets of "Glyocladin" into the soil under the bushes (by about 2 cm).
The spots still appeared until mid-July. I cut the peduncles and treated the plants with the "Pure ECE" preparation. She removed all the affected leaves and did not notice any new signs of the disease in a week. I carried out the treatment with the drug again.
In mid-August, the white (practically recovered, in my opinion) Astrantia was planted in a permanent place, for loyalty to keep its roots in "Maxim". The remaining solution was again poured under the pink "friend".
As a result of the therapy, the white grew healthy leaves and bloomed. After admiring the flower for several days, I cut it off so as not to weaken it. The beauty went into the winter healthy. Pink was still unwell. In September, she dug out a bush, washed the roots, treated it with Maxim and planted it. The spots on the plants continued to appear, but less so. I processed them several times with Pure Flowers. The result will be visible only in the spring, but I hope for a positive outcome.
© Author: Elena KIROSIROVA, Tver
Astrantia are unpretentious and resistant to diseases and pests. It is only important to acquire healthy planting material. In your case, a "loading dose" of therapy is justified. These plants in the middle lane overwinter without shelter (according to USDA, 3 / 4-7).
In spring, on fertile, humus-rich and moist soil in partial shade, Astrantia will give healthy young shoots. She does not like hot summers - in dry, drained places, regular watering and mulching are indispensable. After flowering, the plant is rejuvenated: it is cut to the ground, the soil is moistened. Newly regrown stems can re-bloom. In one place, without loss of decorativeness, they live up to 10 years. They do not crawl far, therefore they do not need control and do not require support in the form of supports and a garter.
Astrantia are good in the foreground in mixborders with similar umbrella ones: fennel, coriander, fragrant myrrh. Excellent duets in tone-on-tone pink or contrasting pink-white, white-blue colors are obtained with heuchera, barberries, irises, veronica, geraniums, bells, foxgloves.
Astrantia can be soloed during flowering or combined with more modest flowers (and sometimes even with roses and pompous peonies).
It is also used as a dried flower (dried with inflorescences hanging down). The plant is beautifully arranged with many colors in complex combinations. Popular in bridal bouquets.
Astrantia is very unpretentious, so it can do without special supervision, and sometimes it is even inclined to run wild. This happens in those gardens where she meets the conditions suitable for herself. The plant is not too demanding for soil fertility, but still responds with gratitude to organic-rich, moist soil. Therefore, when planting, it is useful to add compost or humus. Good drainage won't hurt either. Astrantia is quite resistant to drought, but its appearance suffers from it - do not forget about watering in drought. The most crucial period in caring for Astrania comes after landing. Until complete rooting, watering is needed regularly, to the full depth
root system. So that the soil retains moisture longer, after planting, as well as for the winter or spring, mulch the soil under the plants with humus or fallen leaves. Astrantia grows well both in the sun and in partial shade. In the sun, first of all, it is worth planting varieties with a dark color, which in the shade is not able to fully manifest itself.
At the same time, a sunny location will naturally require more frequent watering. For shade, varieties with white and white-green inflorescences, as well as variegated ones, are good. This choice is also successful in that the white color pleasantly enlivens the dark areas of the garden. Astrantia is propagated by division overgrown bushes in early spring.
Groundcover white perennials for the garden
The ground cover type of plants is widely used in landscape design for decorating alpine slides, garden slopes, open spaces, terraces. Among this popular group, there are a lot of representatives of the snow-white range, which significantly increases the choice of the gardener. White perennials with the names Arabis and Yaskolka silvery, lyriopa, saxifrage are especially popular.
Arabis is a herbaceous plant, also known to everyone under the name Rezuha. Belongs to the Cruciferous family. A characteristic feature of the flower is the presence of pubescence, consisting of numerous hard, thin hairs. Arabis height does not exceed 30 cm. Small double or simple flowers are collected in small, dense inflorescences. The foliage has a heart-shaped, bright green color. The flowering period begins in May and lasts for several months. In landscape design, Arabis is valued for its tenderness, beauty of inflorescences, dense, lush foliage cap. Refers to unpretentious types of ground cover, the care of which is within the power of novice growers.
Silvery chippings are unpretentious white perennials with snow-white umbrella flowers. The rich green foliage with a silvery sheen creates a fluffy blanket that is abundantly decorated with small, pretty flowers during the flowering period. The plant is grown in sunny areas. It is unpretentious to the composition of the soil, unpretentious in care. Yaskola is a fast-growing species capable of decorating a large territory in a season. So, with a maximum height of a bush of 20 cm, shoots can spread over a distance of about 0.7 meters. You can use the chisel for decorating alpine slides, terraced passages, landscaping areas near water bodies, when creating a variety of flower arrangements.
Liriope is a herbaceous plant blooming with snow-white flowers, collected in a small spikelet. In our area, it is a representative of exotic species, but with proper care it develops well, giving joy to the owners. Blooms in late summer, early autumn. It is preferable to plant the plant in partial shade, where the foliage acquires a richer color. Among the varieties, you can find representatives with evergreen foliage, as well as colorful variegated leaves.
Saxifrags are unpretentious white ground cover perennials that can survive even in the most extreme conditions. The culture has long shoots spreading over the surrounding area. Thin branched roots can penetrate between stones, other obstacles, providing the flower with intensive reproduction. The foliage is fleshy, depending on the variety, it can be of different shades: dark green, bluish, silver. From May to August, the lush greenery of the crown is covered with small white flowers, collected in loose panicles. During the flowering period, the plant exudes a pleasant, subtle aroma.
Amazing Lily of the Valley or Galesia
Solar flower Gelenium
Garden tree Cherry
Planting and leaving
An important advantage of starlets is that they are easy to maintain in culture and very easy to reproduce. An open or slightly shaded place is chosen for planting, since a strong sun for a star is not very desirable. It grows in any soil, but more lush bushes grow with moderate moisture on light sandy loam and even on loamy soil. Planting time is spring and autumn, the main thing is that it is not very hot, which can lead to the desiccation of a moisture-loving plant. Bushes can be placed at a distance of 12-15 cm from each other, because they grow in breadth rather quickly. In one place, a star can easily grow without transplanting for 6-7 years, then it will need to be seated. Powerful roots penetrate 10-15 cm deep into the soil, which is important to know when transplanting. In the hot period of the year, when there is a lack of precipitation, watering is desirable, since with a lack of moisture, the edges of the leaves will begin to burn and darken, and the decorative effect of the bush will sharply decrease. At the end of the season, in autumn, you should cut off powerful basal leaves at a height of 5-7 cm from the ground, then in spring it will be easier for the plant to form new leaves. For the winter, adult plants do not need to be covered. they are hardy enough. However, it is advisable to cover young plantings (especially rare varieties) in autumn with spruce branches. In the spring, foliar feeding or composting with organic fertilizer will be beneficial.
Astrantia (Astrantia) - a very decorative perennial herbaceous representative of the Umbrella family (Umbelliferae). Probably, the genus got its name from astron (star) and antion (opposite). People often call it Zvezdovka or Zvezdchatka because of the unusual shape of the inflorescence wrappers, very similar to a multi-rayed beautiful star. The flowers themselves are numerous and small, rather inconspicuous, collected in umbrellas.
According to various sources, the genus Astrantia includes from 10 to 40 species that grow in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as in the Caucasus. Plants are distinguished by beautiful flowers, feathery leaves, fragrant long rhizomes. They have medicinal properties.
Astrantia is large (Astrantia major) - the most striking species, especially beloved by flower growers, rarely found in nature in the Baltic countries, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and the forests of Central Europe. This is a relict endangered plant listed in the Red Book. Sprawling bushes of large Astrantia reach 70 cm in height and bloom profusely for up to 40 days in mid-summer. Its flowers are usually pale pink, white or cream, large, wrapping leaves are also pinkish or green. This species has been cultivated since the end of the 16th century, has beautiful varieties of more saturated colors, there are variegated ones.
Astrantia is the largest (Astrantia maxima) - a rarer species from the Caucasus. It differs from the first in that all its leaves are tripartite. The leaves of the envelope are pale, reddish-pink. Blooms in August-September for more than a month.
Astrantia is light-requiring, although it grows well in shaded areas, for example, among trees. It blooms most brightly and beautifully in an open, but semi-shaded place. Unpretentious and drought-resistant, content with not the richest soils, preferably loose. In extreme heat, it occasionally requires watering, without moisture, the flowering period is sharply reduced. For the winter, adult bushes do not require shelter, unlike first years, which should be covered with spruce branches. Often after flowering, the plants are cut completely to avoid uncontrolled self-seeding. In one place without a transplant, it can grow for at least 5-7 years.
Astrantia practically does not get sick and is not damaged by pests, the only exception can be slugs if the plant is planted in a humid and highly shaded place.
Astrantia reproduces both by pre-winter sowing of seeds in open ground, and by spring division of a bush or rhizome, and it is necessary to have time to do it before the buds begin to appear. It is necessary to maintain a distance between plants of 30-40 cm, since the bushes quickly grow in breadth. Sowing plants bloom only in the third year.
When decorating a garden, Astrantia is most often placed in the background or in the middle ground, possibly on the lawn in a separate group or along the path. It is good in shady gardens among woody shrubs and in mixborders. Astrantia bushes are perfectly combined with early flowering astilba, variegated lungwort, hosta, cyanosis. Used for cutting.
Photo: Maxim Minin, Rita Brilliantova