AVAILABLE 2019. Boasting the darkest leaves of any astilbe bar none, Chocolate Shogun lives up to its name, at least in part, in terms of the deep colouration of its lacy foliage, which lasts through the growing season. In summer this provides a lovely backdrop to the feathery pink flower plumes that rise above it. Introduced a few years ago now, but still surprisingly hard to find. Sun or semi-shade. Moist soil. 24 in. 2 litre pot.

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Winner of a silver medal at the 2013 Plantarium, the prestigious Dutch trade show, Chocolate Shogun was bred by Nagasaki Teruhisa of Aomori, Japan. Which is where the shogun bit came from, we suppose.

Shoguns were military rulers in Japan from the 12th to the 19th century, though the term is still in colloquial usage today with reference to those in positions of power.

Plant care - nothing much to do other than cut back spent flower plumes (though these can be left through winter) and a hard chop back in late autumn or early spring.

Astilbe Chocolate Shogun is a hardy perennial plant with dark chocolate purple leaves and plumes of pink flowers in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.

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