Astilbe

(Greek name, of no particular significance). Sazifragdcew. Includes Hotéia. Tall perennial herbs, of 7 or 8 species in eastern N. Amer. and Asia. They look much like Aruncus (which see), and are often called Spiraaa. Aruncus and Spirma are rosaceous genera, and are characterized by many stamens and usually by sev eral to many separate pistils, whereas Astilbe has 8 or 10 stamens (twice the number, or of the same number, as the petals), and a 2-3-lobed pistil (which finally sepa rates into more or less distinct follicles). Astilbe and Aruncus are so much alike that they are constantly con founded by horticultnrists and even by botanists. They probably inter-cross. It is probable that they should be placed in the same family, despite the technical botani cal diflerenccs. The Astilbes are hardy plants of great merit. They are easily grown in any well-made border. They give conspicuous masses of bloom in summer. Prop. mostly by division. L_ H_ B_