Last updated on May 20th, 2023 at 04:37 pm

The plume-like flower, Astilbe (Sorbaria sorbifolia), is known as ‘False Goat’s Beard’ and false spirea. This easy-to-maintain plant can grow in the shadiest corner of the garden, even in most conditions and all kinds of soil, and brighten its beauty. 

Although this bloom is known as a false goat’s beard for its fluffy flower sprays that resemble a goat’s beard, its genus name originates from Greek words. In Greek, ‘a’ means without and ‘stilbe’ means brightness or brilliance, which refers to the dull leaves of some of the astilbe species. Astilbe flower meaning thus literally stands for ‘devoid of brilliance,’ which is not true!

Native to North America and Asia, this wildflower variety belongs to the Saxifrage family and mostly grows naturally in mountain ravines, field forests, coves, and woodlands. There are twenty species of this flowering plant, and the Astilbe flower meaning remains the same for each. 

At the end of the 18th century, astilbes became popular in Europe. Most of the present-day hybridized varieties of this flowering plant originate from the greenhouse of German horticulturist Georg Arends (1862-1952). He is popular for his work, mostly with herbaceous perennials. 

Being a wildflower, it’s extremely easy to grow these perennial, herbaceous plants in any garden. Blooming with large masses of feathery flowers from arching branches with green pinnate leaves makes them extremely pretty. 

What does the Astilbe flower symbolize?

In various parts of the world, astilbes are associated with different things. This flower mostly stands for patience and dedication. Offering this flower to someone means promising to wait for that person. It’s not a hardcore romantic flower, but it means beyond that. Because these flowers bloom for a long period, it is connected to dedication and patience.

The astilbe flower’s meaning is also tied to the bond of love. This long-lasting, hardy flower represents the power of love and its ability to endure hardships. It could easily be chosen as a romantic flower replacing the ever-popular rose. Astilbes make wonderful fillers in wedding flower decorations.

In some Asian countries, it represents strength due to its capability to survive in almost any condition. This hardy plant is not easily affected by diseases or insects, standing strong throughout the year.

Astilbes are also linked to beauty for their delicate-looking, feather-like flowers that bloom mostly in bright but pleasant vintage shades. This flower can be given to someone whom you find beautiful.

Astilbes also represent continuity as they bloom till autumn, which is seen as moving on with life through hindrances.

All in all, the astilbe flowers symbolic meanings are:

  • patience
  • dedication
  • strength
  • power
  • love

Meaning of the Astilbe flower colors

White color

White astilbes are connected to innocence and purity. These delicate, feathery blossoms are seen as a symbol of perfection, truth, and honesty. 

White astilbes also make wonderful sympathy flowers. You can also offer someone white astilbes if you find them elegant and beautiful.

Pink color

Pink astilbe flowers stand for gentleness, grace, and femininity. These blooms in all pink shades represent a mother’s love or unconditional love. These can be added to bouquets to express respect, love, and care. These flowers make wonderful flyers for Mother’s Day bouquets. 

Shades of these pink flowers are versatile and stand for admiration, passion, and gratitude, allowing them to express different emotions and sentiments. Pink astilbes can be added to anything from wedding bouquets and Valentine’s Day to anniversary flower gifts.

Red color

Red astilbes bloom in burgundy, crimson, and lighter shades of red. The bold and fiery summer color represents passion, infatuation, admiration, and courage.

Lavender and Violet color

Lavender is the color of grace, sincerity, refinement, and calmness. The soothing shades of astilbe stand for the same.

Peach color

Peach hues of astilbe represent sincerity, modesty, earnestly, gratitude, and thank you.

Orange color

Orange astilbe flowers symbolize zeal, enthusiasm, boldness, and pride.

Interesting facts about the Astilbe flower

  • Astilbe is pronounced as a-STIL-bee.
  • Astilbes are also called avalanches, feather flowers, and meadowsweet.
  • All Astilbe species are perennials.
  • Most species of astilbe hybrids have compound leaves. The only exception is A. simplicifolia. It has simple leaves.
  • Astilbe flowers are not only a showy bunch of blooms that add beauty to the garden, but some species have medicinal value.

How to grow Astilbe flowers

Astilbes can grow in dense bushes up to two feet, depending on their variety. Blooming astilbe stems are strikingly beautiful with plume-like long flowers and attractive fern-like leaves. 

This year-round flower grows on stalks that rise above the plant. The flowers look like clusters of ferns with densely packed feathery flowers.

  1. Plant astilbe flowers in a location that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. They require nutrient-dense, organic soil that drains well and is slightly acidic.
  2. Compost should be added to the soil, especially if it is rocky or poor.
  3. Water thoroughly when first planting, and then keep the soil moist.
  4. It is a good idea to modify the soil with compost or fertilizer regularly. Organic fertilizer with a high phosphorus content is recommended.
  5. Keep the plumes for winter interest and trim them back in the spring.
  6. Every year or so, divide these plants as needed.

How to care for Astilbe flowers

  1. Make sure the astilbe flowers get enough water every day.
  2. For maximum absorption, re-cut the stems every few days.
  3. Replace the water and add extra fresh flower food at the same time. 
  4. Keep the flowers in a cool spot and away from ripe fruit and direct sunlight.

Best time to gift Astilbe flowers

Astilbes are not usually sent individually as flower gifts but are often used as fillers for their beauty, dense flowers, soft colors, and elegance. They can be wonderful additions to wedding bouquets to add volume and texture and infuse a classy yet dazzling touch. 

These flowers can accompany other flowers in Mother’s Day bouquets to add a rustic, country, wildflower look. Valentine’s Day and anniversary bouquets can also have these fluffy, elegant flowers. It is important to select the color according to the astilbe flower associated with the hue.

Although these blooms are used mostly as fluffy fillers, they make excellent cut flowers and decoration flowers and would any day steal the show! These beautiful flowers can be added to groomsmen’s boutonnieres to give them a unique look.


Astilbe flowers make lovely additions to any garden. If you properly care for them, you will have gorgeous blooms for many years.

The astilbe flower is a great gift to give to a loved one; they blend wonderfully in various seasonal flower bouquets and arrangements on any occasion.