Astilboides tabularis
Common Name: astilboides
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Native Range: Northern China
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy

Culture

Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy, organically rich soils in part shade. Soils must not be allowed to dry out. Site in areas protected from strong winds. If regularly watered, foliage may remain attractive throughout the growing season, although large leaves are subject to damage from harsh weather and sun/hot temperatures. A summer compost mulch helps retain soil moisture.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Astilboides is noted for having large leaves somewhat resembling those of Rodgersia and upright flower spikes resembling those of Astilbe. Astilboides is valued by gardeners more for its unique foliage and architectural interest that for its flowers. Large, rounded, lobed, peltate leaves (to 2-3’ in diameter) on 2-3 foot tall petioles rising from the ground. Leaves have a shield-like appearance as reflected in the sometimes used common name of shield leaf. Leaves also have table-like surfaces, hence the species name. Tiny, astilbe-like white flowers form in panicles atop flowering stems that gracefully arch above the foliage in late spring. Mature plants can grow to 4’ tall and spread to 3’ wide. Synonymous with and formerly known as Rodgersia tabularis.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for slugs. Foliage decline (leaves brown up) may occur in hot summers and/or periods of drought if soils are not kept moist or if plants are grown in too much sun.

Garden Uses

Effective on pond or stream banks or landscape areas with consistently moist soils. May also be effective in woodland gardens and other moist but shaded areas.