Color Flash® Astilbe
Flower description / bloom time
This Astilbe has airy plumes of fragrant, pale pink. The flowers are supposed to bloom June through August; however, one evaluator noted its bloom time as being only in August and some evaluators noted it did not flower at all. It was observed that Color Flash® was not as floriferous as Astilbe ‘Hennie Graafland’.
Compound leaves emerge a rich green, turning slightly glossy, lower leaves edged with burgundy or red as the season progresses.
Habit and growth rate observations
The foliage becomes a vigorous mound to 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide. The blooms add 12-18 inches of height in mid-summer.
Site preference—soil and light
This plant grows best in part sun or dappled shade. It prefers constant moisture and will need supplemental watering in extreme heat.
Successes and possible drawbacks—how to overcome them
This Astilbe’s strong growth and changing foliage color keep this plant interesting throughout the season. It can have leaves in all shades of green and burgundy to red at the same time. The flowers attract butterflies and it does not appear to attract deer or rabbits. It was recommended by evaluators that Color Flash® be deadheaded so that the color on the foliage stands out. Keep this plant well watered since it needs moist soil for best performance; a mulch will help to retain the soil moisture. It was not bothered by slugs or other insects or by rabbits.
Notes from growers/retailers
This plant looks great in a container and the colored foliage stands out on a retail bench. Although easily grown, it is patented so propagation is by license only.
Color Flash® works well in combination with ferns, especially Dryopteris filix-mas and Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’.
Parting SHOT— the overall evaluation results were Poor *
This one was hard to rate, because there is nothing wrong with it, yet there is nothing outstanding either. It certainly has nice clean foliage and grows well.
Unfortunately, Color Flash® demonstrated weak growth for most of the evaluators. Three of the evaluators lost the plant completely and only two had 100 percent survival during the testing period.