Herb: Great Masterwort

Latin name: Astrantia major

Synonyms: Astrantia biebersteinii, Astrantia carinthiaca, Astrantia carniolica, Astrantia trifida

Family: Umbelliferae

Medicinal use of Great Masterwort:

A decoction of the root is purgative. The root is harvested in summer to early autumn and can be dried for later use. An infusion of the whole plant is a gentle diuretic.

Description of the plant:


80 cm
(2 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Moist woodlands and the banks of streams.

Propagation of Great Masterwort:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed as early in the year as you can obtain it. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown in situ either as soon as it is ripe or in the following spring. Division in spring. Large clumps can be planted out straight into their permanent positions. Smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well and can then be planted out in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist woodlands and the banks of streams.

Known hazards of Astrantia major:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.