Astilbe (False goat’s beard)
The Astilbe, also known as False goat’s beard and False spirea, originates from Japan. Because of its beautifully coloured flowers, the Astilbe stands out, and quickly found its way to Europe via various trade routes.
Originally, the Astilbe is an aquatic plant that thrives best in a partially shaded spot in well-draining soil. If the Astilbe is planted in a sunny spot, a wet soil is a precondition. If this is not the case, the deeply incised copper-green leaves will quickly turn brown.
Georg Arends was one of the first gardeners to start crossing the Astilbe. After his studies in the United Kingdom, he returned to Germany where he founded a nursery in the village of Wuppertal in 1888. After decaded, he crossed the new Astilbe arendsii group. In 1933 Georg introduced the Astilbe arendsii ‘Fanal’ which is still one of the best-selling Astilbe today. Besides the Astilbe arendsii group, Arends successfully crossed many other species, Aconitum x arendsii, Phlox paniculata and 350 other species.
Unfortunately, the nursery was completely destroyed during the bombings of the Second World War. Georg and his son rebuilt the nursery after the Second World War, but because of Georg’s age and stubbornness, the nursery never regained the size it had before the bombings.