When I first heard the name of this flower, my first thought was how it sounded like the name that might be conjured for some far off planet or galaxy in a kitsch sci-fi television show from decades ago. Say it like you’re doing the voiceover for the intro as badly-rendered laser beams whizz before your eyes: Astrantiaaaa. Well anyway, it was therefore of real satisfaction to have this inkling validated by the fact that the name is in fact derived from latin ‘aster’ - meaning ‘star.’ Language is a hell of a thing, huh?

Of course, the starry name is due to the shape of the plant’s floral bracts: long petals shoot out from the edges of the flower, whilst a veritable supernova of smaller petals and stamen clusters around the centre.

Beyond its spacey similarities, there is no real clear-cut symbolism associated with the astrantia, they are simply beautiful wild flowers of the sort you might find growing in a quaint cottage garden. Therefore go forth - send astrantias to your heart’s content, knowing that you’ll never have to worry about accidentally including a funereal stem in your ‘Congratulations It’s A Boy!’ bouquet.