Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chinese Astilbe, False Spirea, False Goat's Beard
Astilbe chinensis 'Pumila'

Family: Saxifragaceae (saks-ih-frag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Astilbe (a-STIL-bee) (Info)
Species: chinensis (chi-NEN-sis) (Info)
Cultivar: Pumila

Synonym:Astilbe chinensis var. pumila

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Loess01 On Apr 26, 2008, Loess01 from Atalissa, IA wrote:

I am happy to report that this plant survived a tougher than usual winter in our marginal Zone 5 garden.

This one was a new addition last fall. So far it looks quite healthy and has spread out somewhat. I did add plenty of mulch after the first hard freeze, so maybe that gave it somewhat of a boost.

I would like to add that this sprouted up a good two weeks after most of my other perennials made an appearance this spring. I don't know if that's typical for astilbes or not.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 19, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Short - 10" - Plant 12" apart. Lilac plumes over deep green foliage from July to August. Great used as ground cover, or in foreground. Spreads well.

Positive bluespiral On Dec 1, 2006, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Would like to add to the above that, in our Maryland garden, we have never had to water this plant, and one year was so dry you could walk across a local reservoir. To qualify its drought tolerance with us, let me say that it was already established before that summer. Also, our soil does have a high, moisture-retentive clay content, lots of compost was dug in before planting and the area where it grows is mulched once a year - when we can. Apparently, the dainty looks of this plant belie its extremely versatile constitution that has such a wide range of adaptability.

Positive Malus2006 On Mar 15, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

'Pumila' appear to bloom even later than the other cultivars of astilbes in my yard. It will look good in a rock garden near a pond. It has "fuzzy" flowers compare to other astilbes.

Positive InTheShade On Jun 16, 2005, InTheShade from Longmeadow, MA wrote:

This astilbe grows a bit differently than all the others I have. Instead of staying in a tight clump, it spreads forming a nice dense groundcover which is not invasive.

Positive lmelling On Nov 12, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

A nice dwarf astilbe for moist to wet locations where you don't want a taller version, such as borders or as a graduation to taller flowers. Has lavender plumes in late summer - this one starts blooming after most of the others are done.

Great for shady locations or just as happy in full sun in northern climates. Fast growing. Divide every couple of years. Moves well to other locations after being divided. Cut flowers back after flowering.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 1, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Be sure to cut back faded flower stalks. Extra water may be needed in dry periods. Divide after 3-4 years in spring or fall. Astilbe requires a lot of nutrients, so give it some fertilizer at least once per growing season.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Evanston, Illinois
Bloomington, Indiana
Atalissa, Iowa
Oskaloosa, Iowa
Buckfield, Maine
Ellicott City, Maryland
Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Peabody, Massachusetts
Pinconning, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Brunswick, Missouri
Lincoln, Nebraska
Croton On Hudson, New York
Ithaca, New York
Cleveland, Ohio
Warren, Ohio
Lake Oswego, Oregon
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Kalama, Washington
Ocean Park, Washington

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