Botanical name: Astilbe chinensis "Purple Cats"
Location: Water Well Garden
Description: Astilbes are mainstays in the shade or woodland garden. They are clump-forming perennials with graceful, fern-like mounds of dark green leaves. "Purple Cats" is a tall upright cultivar that forms a 2-foot-tall foliage mound. Dark violet-red poker-like flowers in thick panicles bloom in early summer atop branching stems rising to 30 inches tall. The flower color softens to lighter shades of purple with age.
Growing tips: Grows best in well-drained soil in part to full shade. Prefers moist, organically rich soil. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Divide clumps every three to four years.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
History: Displayed at Botanica since 2003.
Uses: An excellent spreading ground cover or border plant. Mass or group in shade gardens, woodland gardens or other shady areas.
Also blooming: Roses, wildflowers, hydrangeas, daylilies, clematis, water lilies, annuals and many other perennials.