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Astrantia

Astrantia

Woodland clearings, mountain meadows, moist areas near streams, and part-shade to sunny gardens are all ideal homes for Astrantia (Masterwort), a genus of nine perennial species native to Europe and Asia. Christened for the Greek word astron, meaning ‘star,’ these cut-flower favorites form basal clumps of large, lobed leaves topped by short, branching stems that carry masses of small blooms. Each flower resembles a twinkling star, its pincushion-shaped dome encircled by a papery ruff of petal-like bracts. The flowers keep coming over an extended season that runs from late spring to summer, and the bracts tend to keep their good looks even longer. Plants perform best given organically rich, evenly moist soil in part-shade, with some varieties tolerant of full sun.