The Astilbe chinensis pumila is a variety of the Chinese astilbe, a flowering plant valued for its light plume like flower clusters, varied colors, and attractive foliage. The astilbe is sometimes called the False Spirea. Most astilbe plants sold are hybrids. Varieties such as the astilbe chinensis pumila can at times be more difficult to locate. It is a member of the Saxifragaceae family. There are several varieties of Chinese astilbe, with the pumila variety generally considered to be the dwarf of the group.
A Native Of The Far East - A native of China, Siberia, and the Korean peninsula, this herbaceous perennial is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. It prefers partial to full shade, and is particularly attractive in shady spots near ponds and streams. The Astilbe chinensis pumila has better sun tolerance than most varieties of astilbe, and is also somewhat more drought tolerant.
Pumila Makes An Excellent Ground Cover - You might choose the Astilbe chinensis pumila if you are looking for ground cover. This dwarf variety spreads more quickly than most of the other varieties of Chinese astilbe. The foliage generally grows to no more than 6" in height, with the flowering plumes adding another few inches. The foliage remains very attractive long after blooming has ceased. The blooms themselves are quite showy and good as cut flowers. Cutting off the flower stems whether the blooms are fresh or spent, will not cause additional blooming, but generally improves the appearance of the foliage through the rest of the growing season.