Astrantia Species, Great Masterwort

Astrantia major

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Astrantia (ast-ran-tee-a) (Info)
Species: major (MAY-jor) (Info)
Synonym:Astrantia australis
Synonym:Astrantia candida
Synonym:Astrantia caucasica
Synonym:Astrantia europaea
Synonym:Astrantia intermedia
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:




Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Juneau, Alaska

Mckinleyville, California

Menifee, California

Parker, Colorado

Winnetka, Illinois

Bremen, Indiana

Abbot, Maine

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Weymouth, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Ferrysburg, Michigan

Lincoln Park, Michigan

Marshall, Minnesota

Ithaca, New York

Massena, New York

Orchard Park, New York

Coshocton, Ohio

Austin, Texas

Kalama, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 6, 2018, noseykate from SOUTH WEYMOUTH, MA wrote:

Growing in mostly shady bog garden. The blooms are long-lasting and pretty in an old-fashioned way. I don't think they show well alone, but they peek nicely through and around other shade-garden foliage. Good-sized clumps form, and they reseed around freely but not unpleasantly. Easy to pull up if not wanted. Interestingly, groundhogs seem to favor these plants. I can tell if a groundhog has been around because the astrantia are chewed down to a nub. The plants come back with no problem. Hopefully the groundhog does not.


On Sep 7, 2015, norder from Lancashire,
United Kingdom wrote:

I've grown this in the UK for over 40 years and never lost one.. We are very high up in the Pennine hills with strong winds and temperatures down to minus 20c in winter and up to 98f in summer, Our soil was heavy clay but it does well in my new garden which is clay grit and manure; very free draining.
Astrantia is a really tough plant; a plant it and forget it sort of plant with a long flowering period. If you dead head it , it will continue to flower. If you cut the plant back in late July it will regrow and flower again into September and October. I still have root cuttings from my original plant from 1982.
I was told that the flowers can be dried and used as dried flowers but have always found that they close up.
It only has one drawback- the flowers do not smell ni... read more


On Feb 8, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Hardy Z4-7 in eastern N. America. This species does not tolerate hot humid summers in which the night temperatures often remain above 70F.


On Jun 25, 2009, stonetta from Ceglie Messapica (BR),
Italy (Zone 10a) wrote:

I photographed this plant a couple of weeks ago in the Rose Garden at Woodland Park in Seattle.
I did not know what it was, but it was identified by the kind people on the Plant and Tree identification Forum as Astrantia.
Can't tell you much except that it obviously grows very well in Seattle and is beautiful .


On Apr 20, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Supposed to be zone 4 hardy too.


On Oct 23, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I got one of these plants in our annual spring plant swap. I'd not heard of it before but the tag said "shade" so that's where I planted it - in my shade garden. It didn't do much the first year I planted it. I had no idea what the flowers would look like so basically I forgot about it.

This summer I was went out to the garden to weed and lo and behold, there were several stems of these strange and beautiful white flowers held high above this plant. They're almost exotic looking. I was really delighted with these and had to go back into my list of plants that I had put out there. I finally figured out what they were. They're wonderful!

Long blooming - I think they lasted from late June all the way through August. Wish I'd taken a picture! If you hap... read more


On Oct 8, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Got this wonderful plant a few years ago. Planted it in a mixed container. Has become one of my favorites. The dark purple one is my favorite. It has beautiful flowers and it easily start from seed. But has not become invasive. Easy to start. Has withstood the winters in Western Washington state.


On Jun 13, 2001, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Has lobed, palmate leaves forming a loose mound of foliage. Daisy-like flowers rise on stems in early to mid summer and are produced throughout the summer. There are many different colors depending on the cultivar.

Usually they like continuously moist soil, woodland type conditions. A. major tolerates drier soil than other species. Will tolerate full sun as long as roots are kept moist.