A dwarf variety of this woodland plant, Astrantia major Snowstar will usefully tolerate partial shade and drier soils. It provides good ground cover in the middle of the herbaceous border with a lush mound of deeply cut, attractively shaped leaves. From the centre of this elegant foliage emerge thin but strong stems supporting the traditional pin-cushion shaped flowers. The outer petals (they are in fact bracts) of the pure white flowers have finely serrated ends that are delicately tipped with pale green.
Importantly, A. Snowstar attracts many pollinators, especially bees. 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 flowers, fincluding the purple spires of Salvia Caradonna or the lime green froth of Alchemilla Mollis; it can also be dried and stored for decorative use in winter.
Common Name: Masterwort Snowstar
Hardiness: Hardy to –20°C
Height and Spread: 70cm x 60cm, over 5 years
Preferred Soil Type: Moist but well drained, or well drained
Aspect: Any, sheltered or exposed
Position: Full sun / Partial shade
Flowering Period: June – September