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ASTILBE chinensis 'Milk and Honey'

Image of Astilbe chinensis 'Milk and Honey' PPAF

Family

Saxifragaceae

Botanical Name

ASTILBE chinensis 'Milk and Honey' PPAF

Plant Common Name

Chinese Astilbe, Chinese False Spirea, Milk and Honey False Spirea

General Description

The Chinese astilbe 'Milk and Honey' is a woodland perennial grown for its tall stems topped by large plume-like panicles (clusters) of tiny flowers. This summer-blooming delight is creamy white when it first opens and ages to pale pink. Unlike other Chinese astilbe, it often blooms into late summer and tolerates more drought and sun than most. The soft flowers appear on sturdy slender stems above a clump of deep green ferny leaves that are lightly marbled with silver when they first emerge.

Plant 'Milk and Honey' in filtered sun to partial shade and fertile soil with good drainage. It will not thrive in dense clay or alkaline soil, and though it tolerates full shade it won’t flower as much at very low light levels. Where summers are cool, full sun is preferable. The spent flowers can be removed or left to dry. Once dry, the plumes are rich brown, hold up well and add winter interest to the garden.

Like all Chinese astilbes, 'Milk and Honey' is pretty planted in masses as a groundcover in shaded perennial borders, woodland areas, and alongside shaded paths. It also grows well in containers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 2

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 5, 6, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    26"-30" / 66.0cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    18"-20" / 45.7cm - 50.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No