Astilbe - astilbe sp, click for a larger image
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Astilbe - astilbe ssp, click for a larger image

Astilbe - astilbe sp.
Family - Saxifragaceae
Also known as - False Goat's beard, False Spirea, Meadowsweet.

Astilbe is a common hardy perennial garden plant growing to around 1.2M (4ft) tall preferring moist but well drained shady places, they will spread quickly from their rhizomatous root structures forming large dense clumps.  Occasionally used for pond side planting they will also tolerate clay soils.

It is not a UK species but is apparently from the Far East, China and Japan, the plants found in Brickfields Country Park have undoubtedly been dumped there by one of our neighbours.  Generally in flower from February to November they produce fronds of feathery dense blooms in red, white, pink, purple and other assorted colours, on tall stalks with a dense green fern like foliage.  Those found in the park are assumed to be the hybrid varieties "Visions in Pink" or "Venus"

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