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Herb Gerard Aegopodium podagraria

Phonetic Spelling
ay-go-PO-dee-um po-do-GRAR-ee-ah
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

This is an aggressive invasive plant that forms dense patches by means of its spreading rhizomes.  These patches tend to displace native species.  It can also inhibit the establishment of conifers and other native trees. Often, the vigorous spread will not produce flower-bearing foliage if the site is under dense shade.  Full sun may cause the leaf edges to brown.

Its rhizomes are long, white and branching.  Typical patches form a dense canopy, creating a ground cover that is very low maintenance.

Goutweed can be found growing naturally in many US states.  It has been reported as invasive in natural areas of Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin.  Its natural habitat is disturbed lands such as felled forests, abandoned fields, and pastures. 

Some management options include spraying with herbicides, manually digging or hand-pulling of the plants, and continuously mowing the growth.  When using herbicides, care must be taken to not overspray and damaging or killing other plants, including native plants.  Digging and hand-pulling may be a long term project with such vigorous growth.  The most effective means of eliminating goutweed would be to cut to the ground after it has just fully leafed out, then cover with black plastic.  This will prevent photosynthesizing, as it will deplete its carbohydrate reserves.

It was an edible plant that was historically used to treat arthritis and gout.    The leaves can be eaten both raw or cooked.  For best flavor, harvest before the plant flowers.  They can be used in soups, salads or eaten as a vegetable.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegatum'
    Verigated foilage
'Variegatum'
Tags:
#white#deciduous#invasive#partial shade#white flowers#weed#shade tolerant#variegated leaves#spring flowers#fast growing#herbaceous#spreading#summer flowers#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#spring interest#compaction tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegatum'
    Verigated foilage
'Variegatum'
Tags:
#white#deciduous#invasive#partial shade#white flowers#weed#shade tolerant#variegated leaves#spring flowers#fast growing#herbaceous#spreading#summer flowers#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#spring interest#compaction tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aegopodium
    Species:
    podagraria
    Family:
    Apiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Edible ground cover that was historically used to treat arthritis and gout.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and northern Asia to eastern Siberia
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bees, beetles, and flies.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    soil compaction,
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Horizontal
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small, elongated seeds repin in late summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Small, white flowers in late spring to early summer that is held above the ground on a leafy stem. The stem can reach a height of up to 3 feet tall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Medium, green, carrot-scented leaves on a fleshy stalk that is attached to an underground stem (rhizome). Its three-parted leaflet is divided into three sub-leaflets. The foliage can be variegated. The variegated form has bluish-green leaves, with creamy white margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Problems:
    Invasive Species