Astrantia is a genus of herbaceous plants in the family Apiaceae, endemic to Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and the Caucasus. The genus name comes from the Greek word for star in reference to the star-like quality of the flower heads. There are 8 or 9 species, which have aromatic roots, palmate leaves, and decorative flowers. They are commonly known as great masterwort or masterwort which may also refer to other plants, particularly the unrelated Peucedanum ostruthium.
- Astrantia bavarica F. W. Schultz 
- Astrantia carniolica K. Koch (Jacq.) 
- Astrantia major L. 
- Astrantia maxima Pall. 
- Astrantia minor Vitman 
The astrantia has many common garden names including melancholy gentleman, masterwort and Hattie's pincushion.
The stems and rhizomes of the Astrantia can be used for medicinal purposes. They provide an essential oil that can be used as a stomachic.[clarification needed] The dried leaves of the plant can be used in herbal medicines as an infusion to help with digestion and help stimulate appetite.
Many strains of Astrantia have been selected for their value in the garden, where they grow well if given reasonable soil, some shade and moisture. Their unusual pincushion flowerheads provide summer colour in shades of red, pink and white. A. maxima 'Largest masterwort' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
A number of garden varieties have red flowers, e.g. A. carniolica 'Rubra'.
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility: A. bavarica
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility: A. carniolica
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility: A. major
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility: A. maxima
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility: A. minor
- Klein, Carol (15 May 2004). "How to grow: Astrantia 'Shaggy'". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- Panda, H. Handbook on Medicinal Herbs with Uses, p. 163, at Google Books
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