Aruncus dioicus
Aruncus dioicus photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Goat's Beard

Aruncus dioicus is an outstanding native specimen plant that looks like a giant astilbe. The creamy white flowers are produced on feathery, open panicles which can grow up to 30 cm long. This perennial can be grown in place of a shrub in a mixed border. The dried seed heads are attractive and can be left on the plant for winter interest.

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Goat's Beard grows best in moist humus rich soil. It prefers lightly shaded locations where it gets protection from the hot afternoon sun but it can be grown in full sun as long as the soil never dries out. In deep shade the plant will have an open habit and flowering will be very sparse. It is disease and insect resistant and seldom needs dividing. It takes a couple of years to get established but, once it is, it will be very deep rooted and hard to move. Cut it down in the spring because the dried plumes provide winter interest.

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