- Astilbe Fanal
Arendsii hybrids are a large group of hybrids involving crosses between A. chinensis, A. japonica, A. thunbergii and A. astilboides and named after German nursery man George Arends (1862-1952). They are clump-forming perennials which feature graceful, fern-like mounds of mostly basal, 2-3 ternately compound leaves, usually with sharply-toothed leaflets, and tiny flowers densely packed into erect to arching, plume-like flower panicles rising above the foliage on slender, upright stems. They can vary considerably as to plant size, inflorescence shape, leaf color/shape and bloom period because of the different and sometimes complex parentage of the various plants now lumped under this hybrid grouping. Genus name comes from the Greek words a meaning without and stilbe meaning brightness in reference to the dull leaves of some species. Specific epithet honors German nursery man George Arends (1862-1952) ‘Fanal’ is noted for having perhaps the darkest red flowers of any of the astilbes and for its bronze foliage. It is a compact cultivar which typically forms a foliage mound to 9-12” tall with narrow panicles of dark crimson red flowers appearing on upright, 15-18” tall stems. Foliage emerges bronze but tends to turn dark green with a reddish tint as the summer progresses.