WTF? (What’s That Flower?): Astilbe

WTF? (What’s That Flower?): Astilbe


If you can’t unglue yourself from Pinterest and love seeing the vast array of bouquet pins, then you’ve probably spied a feathery looking flower in a lot of the bouquet designs – what is it? Most likely you’re looking at astilbe (pronounced a-STIL-bee), one of the newest additions to our product lineup and next up in our WTF? (What’s that flower?) series.

Single stems of astilbe

Astilbe comes from the Greek word “stilbos” and means not glittery or sparkling. It’s also sometimes referred to as false spirea or false goat’s beard – a strange name, but if you turn astilbe upside down – you can see the resemblance!  These names don’t do any justice to this flower because the blooms are just absolutely brilliant!

This plant is native to woodland areas in Asia and North America, so it might be something you’ve seen growing in someone’s garden. There are LOTS of varieties of astilbe, but we won’t go into the details of all the different classifications because that would just be information overload!

The astilbe you’ll find on our site come from our Dutch farm and typically are from either the Arendsii or Japonica group of astilbe. What really matters is that they all have beautiful feathery plumes that come in a variety of reds, pinks and white:

Astilbe colors

We’re seeing more and more use of this pretty bloom because it is such a nice complement to other flowers. Typically used as a filler flower, it can add a wispy whimsical touch to a bouquet and its delicate look won’t overpower other flowers. It’s also fun to use unique blooms like this because who doesn’t want to amaze people with a spectacular bouquet with flowers that they may have never seen before!

White astilbe close-up

Excited to give these beauties a try? Astilbe is easy to use and the varieties we offer are actually hardier than they look. They don’t need any time to open up as they come ready to use. When properly cared for, they’ll look great for at least 3-4 days before you might start to see some browning of the leaves and tips of the blooms. Oftentimes, most arrangements remove the lower foliage from the stems, but depending on your design, the leaves can add a nice green touch!

Stay tuned as we’ll be sharing some bouquet ideas that use this pretty bloom. Check out the astilbe colors that we offer and let me know if you have any questions! If there are any other flowers that you’ve seen that you want help identifying, send us a note and we might just include it in our WTF? series!

Cheers!

Ellie

7 Comments

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  1. 3
    Lisa

    I usually receive flower deliveries on the Wednesday prior to a Saturday wedding. Is this too early for astilbe. I do tend to see brownish tips.

    • 4
      Ellie H.

      Hi Lisa! For astilbe we recommend getting it delivered 1-2 days before an event. So for a Saturday wedding, Thurs or Friday would be a better delivery date. This ensures the blooms are looking their best. I’ve found that light colors of astilbe (white & light pink) show age more quickly than darker pinks and reds. That said, I have had white astilbe look fine after 5 days from delivery direct from the farm.

    • 6
      Ellie H.

      My go to peach rose is “Free Spirit“; however it is a darker pink peach color. It opens up so beautifully after a few days in water but it is a larger sized bloom. Some of ours have reach up to 4″ across when fully open. If you’re looking for something with a lighter peach color, then “Finesse” is another favorite. It is a lovely bloom with lots of layers of petals, but it does not open up as wide as other roses. Both of these are technically garden roses, but they would be my picks if you’re looking for a peach colored rose.

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