Definition of astilbe in US English:



  • An Old World plant of the saxifrage family, with plumes of tiny white, pink, or red flowers.

    Genus Astilbe, family Saxifragaceae

    • ‘Here a bouquet of dahlias, astilbe, and love-lies-bleeding is tucked into a wire basket embellished with supermarket rhubarb.’
    • ‘The following plants can be woven together with large hostas and astilbes to make an ordinary shade garden look stunning.’
    • ‘The contrast of their foliage with that of ferns, astilbe, solomon seal and epimedium further enhances the woodland surroundings.’
    • ‘Covering the hillside around the patio is a tapestry of astilbes, azaleas, campanulas, ferns, hellebores, hostas, Japanese maples, moss, and rhododendrons.’
    • ‘To encourage wildlife, they planted cotoneaster to provide winter fruit for birds, while the pond, edged with bamboos, sedges, grasses, astilbes, hostas and candelabra primulas, attracts both insects and birds.’
    • ‘Maybe some new hostas or a few astilbes would look nice?’
    • ‘Next, to create a casual country look, she interspersed three large stones in the bed, then planted flowering perennials such as astilbe, columbine, delphinium, and hellebore among them.’
    • ‘Pots filled with astilbes, delphiniums, and roses create a cottage effect on a San Francisco rooftop.’
    • ‘For example, I've planted early-blooming bulbs and forget-me-nots right next to iris, astilbes, and lilies, which camouflage the early-flowering plants as they begin to die back.’
    • ‘Peonies, irises, daylilies, and delphiniums peak as phlox come into bud and astilbes begin to light up shady garden spots.’
    • ‘They also don't eat anemones, astilbes, junipers, foxgloves, daffodils, ferns, grasses and a whole host of things.’
    • ‘So we left the question of statuary for another day and contented ourselves with packing a trolley with roses, clematis, honeysuckle, a climbing hydrangea, hardy geranium, and astilbe.’
    • ‘Not as bold in form, but available in colours that range from pure white to pink to deep red, is astilbe.’


Modern Latin, from Greek a- ‘not’ + stilbē, feminine of stilbos ‘glittering’ (because the individual flowers are small and inconspicuous).