Astrantia major is a flowering plant belonging to the Apiaceae family, also referred to as the celery or parsley family.
It is native to southern Europe and is commonly natively found growing wild in meadows, forest clearings, and near streams.
The plant is also known by its common name as Masterwort. It has a bushy habit and typically takes two to five years to reach its full potential.
Astrantia major 'Ruby Cloud' photograph by F. D. Richards.
Gardeners typically grow it as part of garden borders or woven between other flowering plants in the flower bed to produce a woodland or cottage-like garden landscape.
The Astrantia major plant is also highly valued for use in cut flower bouquets and as a butterfly attractant.
This flowering plant can grow to be about 60 centimeters (2 feet) tall, and each flowerhead features a dense arrangement of greenish-white and pink flowers encased in long, white, paper-like petals.
It blooms in late spring to early summer. The stems of the Astrantia major are mostly leafless, only growing a cluster of deep green basal leaves that are deeply divided; these grow up to 10 to 20 centimeters (4 to 8 inches) long.
Astrantia major grows best in North American hardiness zones 4 to 7 (up to 9), and is thus Hardy throughout Europe.
It prefers to be grown in full to partially sunny areas.
It can be grown from seed sown directly into the ground or spread from buds grown near the base, but it is not considered a fast spreader or invasive.
Masterwort grows best in moist, well-draining soils that are rich in organic matter and somewhat sandy.
Though tolerant of most soil types, they do require a moderate amount of watering to thrive, and do not like dry or humid environments.
Astrantia major may be deadheaded early to prolong bloom time and also to prevent self-seeding in the surrounding soil.
Clumps of the flowering plant can be divided up to encourage better growth.