Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ (False Spirea, False Goat’s Beard)

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ after I brought it home on 6-7-18, #455-4.

False Spirea, False Goat’s Beard

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’



Astilbe Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don is the accepted scientific name for the genus. It was described by David Don in Prodromus Florae Nepalensis in 1825. It was previously named and described by Francis Buchanan-Hamilton and later published by Mr. Don giving reference to Buchanan-Hamilton.

As of 1-15-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 29 accepted species in the Astilbe genus. It is a member of the plant family Saxifragaceae with 40 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.

The Arendsii Group of Astilbe hybrids is a cultivar group of complex hybrids involving Astilbe astilboides, chinensis, japonica, thunbergii and others. There are many cultivars in this group mainly produced by breeders in Germany and Holland. The group is named after George Arends who is responsible for nearly all the cultivars sold in America.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ flowers on 6-7-18, #455-5.

I brought this Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ home from Wildwood Greenhouse on June 7, 2018. I have always wanted to try this Astilbe cultivar (as well as several others), so when I saw them at the greenhouse, I had to have one. Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ has the darkest red flowers of any Astilbe.

Family: Saxifragaceae
Zones: USDA 4b-8b (-25 to 15° F)
Size: 18-24”
Light: Sun to part shade. Can tolerate full sun in some climates.
Soil: Moist, well-drained soil is preferred.
Uses: Bedding plant, mass plantings, cut flowers (also the leaves), dried flowers. Can plant in containers and also a good pond-side plant. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Plants are rabbit and deer resistant.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-14-18, #459-16.

I planted this Astilbe in the north bed next to the porch between the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ and Agastache ‘Kudos Gold’.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 7-29-18, #487-15.

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ was still doing well when the above photo was taken on 7-29-18. Too bad they don’t flower all summer.


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 4-7-19, #558-5.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ has successfully made it through our first winter together and is ready to face another summer. The above photo was taken on April 7 but by the time I added it to this page on April 18, it has grown much taller. I will be taking more photos of the plants at least once a week throughout the summer.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 4-20-19, #460-5.

The Astilbe are well on their way and looking AWESOME!

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 5-5-19, #566-8.

I took a lot of photos of this plant, so I may run out of words…

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 5-13-19, #571-2.

It just keeps getting bigger. I think it is in competition with the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 5-13-19, #571-3.

Now it also has buds on May 13.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 5-16-19, #573-3.


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 5-16-19, #573-4.


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 5-19-19, #575-5.


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ with Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 5-25-19, #576-10.

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ and Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ make a great pair. Both are AWESOME!

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 5-25-19, #576-11.


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-1-19, #580-4.


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-1-19, #580-5.


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-5-19, #583-5.

Hmmm… The color is a little off in this photo.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ with Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 6-15-19, #590-4.

One thing for sure is the Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal and the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ are both getting a lot of attention.

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-16-19, #591-7.

I took a lot of photos of this plant this plant because it is so magnetic. I take its photo every time I am taking photos even though it looks like it did the last time. 🙂 As you can tell, it flowers over a long period.

Astilbe prefers moist, humus-rich soil in sun to part shade. They should only be planted in full sun in climates where the soil stays consistently moist and the leaves won’t burn. Otherwise, plant in light to part shade. One website I read said they prefer soil that is average to slightly below average moisture…

If you have soil with poor drainage, such as clay, you will need to amend it with peat moss or replace it with better soil.

Deadheading will not improve flowering but it will keep the plant tidy.

I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.

Plants of the World Online (Genus)
Wikipedia (Genus)
Missouri Botanical Garden
Dave’s Garden
Royal Horticultural Society
The Spruce

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