Astrantia or masterwort are plants of the alpine meadow and woods.
How To Grow
This plant does best when given part shade. Remember that the grasses in the alpine meadows would provide shade and protection from the hot sun while the woody areas are pretty much shaded.
It loves moist soils and really doesn’t do well in dry garden areas. If you plant in a wet area, do ensure the crown of the plant is well above the waterline as it doesn’t like the crown to be submerged. Wet roots are one thing, wet crowns are another.
If the soils are constantly damp, this plant will handle increased amounts of sunshine but do not dry it out in the sunshine or the winter death rates increase.
This is an easy perennial to divide in the early spring or mid-fall.
It also starts readily from seed if the seed is given a cool treatment of 40F for 90 days.
The flowers are held on stiff, wiry stems above the plant and typically flower in early summer. They are a good long bloomer – you can typically count on 6 weeks of bloomtime but they do not repeat bloom in my experience except for those noted below.
The flowers make excellent cut flowers as well as dried flowers.
I’ve never had a problem with Astrantia in a USDA zone 4 garden and most varieties are hardy right down to -17C or 1F.
A. major the Greater Masterwort has several excellent varieties
‘Buckland’ silvery bracts with greenish-pink flowers ‘Claret’ a good red flower with blackish stems ‘Ruby Wedding’ red blooms and a fall rebloomer if deadheaded. Excellent plant ‘Magnum Blush’ deep pink
‘Rubra’ a dwarf compact plant with red flowers. Good bloomer