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Astilbe - Heirloom Essence
About two years ago Astilbe started to gain attention among flower lovers. This was bolstered by Astilbe’s big presence in Meghan Markle’s royal wedding bouquet, which inspired our current offering, “The American Princess Bouquet
According to the British website, The National Collection of Astilbe
, Astilbe is native to Japan and China and was first bred in by a German nurseryman named Georg Arends. Starting in the early 1900’s Mr. Arends spent a lifetime breeding Astilbe and many of his original cultivars are still in the blood lines of today’s flowers. The Ruys family in Dedemsvaart, Holland also contributed to the modern world of Astilbe through breeding in the mid-1900s.
|White Astilbe Field|
Astilbe is a perennial, which comes originally from seed, but for growing commercially we divide plants, using small clumps of roots to make additional plants. A mature crop will take about 8-9 weeks to bring blooms to harvest.
Astilbe thrives in the cool, foggy location of our Arcata, California farm. Astilbe cannot handle a lot of heat, it will literally get sunburned. We will be growing the majority of the year in Arcata, however, for a few months a year we will move the crop to Oxnard, to adjust for winter light levels.
|Dark Pink Astilbe|
We are growing five colors, white, light pink, dark pink, red and lavender. The whites average about 16-18 inches in length, and the other colors stretch out to about 24-28 inches. We offer Astilbe on a year- round basis.
|Light Pink Astilbe|
Of course, Astilbe has roots in Holland. Lane DeVries is a fourth-generation tulip grower, originally from Beverwijk, Netherlands. The next village over was where much of the Astilbe was being grown in the 1960s and 70s.
Sun Valley also grew Astilbe back in the 1980’s in open fields of Humboldt County, the challenges were again sunburn, paired with winds that sweep across the farm straight off the Pacific. Today, we grow them in hoop houses, with some shade cloths and plenty of protection from the wind.
Astilbe has the perfect heirloom essence to excite today's flower buyers. It has gads of texture and the blooms shimmer off the thin wispy stems. What’s old, is new again!