Astrantia major

2 Oct

Astrantia major flower (17/09/2011, London)

Astrantia major flower (17/09/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer to autumn

Soil: Moist

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 50cm

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Apiaceae

Astrantia major is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with a clump forming habit. The mid green leaves are palmate with doubly serrate margins, up to 15cm long and 15cm broad. Its fragrant pink flowers are umbrella-shaped, bristly, up to 3cm across.

Astrantia major commonly known as the Great Masterwort, Melancholy Gentleman or Hattie’s Pincushion, is native to Europe and Western Asia. This plant was introduced to the British Isles in the 16th century and is now well established in various localities. In its native habitat it is found in mountain meadows, grasslands, forests, clearings and beside streams.

The name Astrantia is derived from the Latin astrum ‘star’, referring to the star shaped flower umbels. Major is derived from the Latin meaning ‘greater’

Astrantia major (17/09/2011, London)

Astrantia major (17/09/2011, London)

The landscape architect may find Astrantia major useful on the banks of riparian planting schemes including lakes an streams. It also would be of use in naturalistic woodland and grassland planting schemes.

Ecologically, Astrantia major is good for beetles (as they pollinate it), and other insects.

Astrantia major prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Astrantia major requires little maintenance. The flowering stems may be cut back as they start to turn brown to encourage further flowering. Large clumps may be divided in spring, although they may take some time to establish as they do not like to have their roots disturbed.

Davis Landscape Architecture


One Response to “Astrantia major”


  1. Herbaceous Perennials: Great Masterwort « - 19/10/2011

    […] is still time to plant herbaceous perennials! Try Great Masterwort! Infos about this plant: […]

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