Welcome to week thirteen of our column entitled Pretty Petals. Each week we will introduce you to a flower that we are working with here in the studio as well as flowers that we absolutely adore. Please join us every Thursday for some floral eye-candy where you will learn about a variety of very special blooms. This week we are excited to introduce you to a less commonly known flower called astrantia.
Astrantia is native to Central America and Southern Europe and is commonly referred to as great masterwort. If someone were to ask me what flower the astrantia most resembles, I would have to say Queen Anne’s Lace. Much like Queen Anne’s Lace, the astrantia has a lacy foliage (one could even say “weedy”) with an umbel of tiny flowers, framed by a collar of papery bracts. This beautiful flower is a perennial that blooms for a large portion of the summer months. Its hardiness is from zone 4-7, which means that here in southern Ontario , where we are mainly a 5 or 6, astrantia would happily grow in our gardens. Astrantia is an especially great flower for designing with because it provides an arrangement with depth, movement, and texture – the three elements that are essential to the vintage trend that has many brides smitten this wedding season. It is available in several colours: including red, purple, pink, and white. It can grow up to three feet tall – the most common flower shop variety, however, reaches around 18” high. This is one pungent flower!! It possesses as very sweet smell that sometimes borders on offensive (at the studio we jokingly refer to astrantia as the smelly foot flower!).
This perky flower is a very long lasting one, giving a vase life of two weeks or more. As the flowers start to age, the blooms will drop tiny crumbs, much like the Queen Anne’s Lace does. Be certain to change the water regularly in your vase because astrantia can dirty the water quite quickly. To purchase this flower in a flower shop you can expect to pay around $3 a stem. It is available spring and summer only – so get them while their hot!!