This hardy perennial with the adorable common name of Hattie's Pincushion has clusters of dainty pincushion flower heads of rich ruby-red, almost burgundy-purple. The flowers of this cottage garden favourite are formed of a rosette of bracts, papery on the outer edges, held on strong stems. More vigorous than other varieties, Astrantia major Venice forms elegant clumps of dark green, fine palmate foliage with purple tips.
Originally a woodland plant, this masterwort loves moist soil and will usefully tolerate partial shade, although the flower colour will be paler. It provides great ground cover in the front of the herbaceous border, especially as it doesn't need staking; also perfect in the moist ground neby a pond or at the edge of a woodland garden.
Simply stunning, the long-flowering A. Venice attracts many pollinators. Being extremely vigorous and prolific, do not hesitate to raid it with the flower scissors. In seasonal arrangements it provides the perfect foil for other indigenous flowers, for example the lime green froth of Alchemilla Mollis or acid yellows of euphorbias; it can also be dried and stored for decorative use in winter.
Common Names: Hattie's Pincushion, Masterwort
Height and Spread: 75cm x 45cm
Preferred Soil Type: Moist, fertile, humus-rich
Aspect: Partial shade / Shade
Flowering Period: June – October
Care: Cut back hard in spring and mulch to feed; divide only when necessary