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Aruncus dioicus

Phonetic Spelling
ah-RUN-kus dye-oh-EE-kus
Description

Goat's Beard is a native rhizomatous perennial in the rose family that is found in damp, fertile woods, and mountainous areas of eastern USA. It is dioecious with separate male and female plants. The flowers on the male plant are showier with numerous stamens per flower while the female flower has 3 stamens. Goat's Beard grows to a bushy 3-6 foot tall plant that makes a bold statement in the garden. The blooms are astilbe-like, only much larger, growing to a foot long.

Goat's Beard prefers moist, fertile, organically rich soils that are not allowed to dry out in full sun to part shade.  It is best to give it protection from the hot afternoon sun in the southern portion of its growing range. Give it plenty of room to grow and be aware it may take 2-3 seasons for it to mature.

Use this plant in rain gardens, along stream beds or ponds. Or place it at the back of a woodland perennial garden.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Goat's beard has some susceptibility to leaf spot.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Child of Two Worlds’
    Short, sturdier
  • ‘Kneiffii’
    Compact, less showy flowers
  • var. dioicus
Tags:
#white#sun#full sun#partial shade#water garden#rain garden#cream#perennial#white flowers#wildlife plant#showy#shade tolerant#native perennial#rabbit resistant#stream banks#fire#medium flammability#NC native#Azure butterfly#summer flowers#deer resistant#cream flowers#bushy#ponds#spring interest#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#mid-summer flowers#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#butterfly friendly#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Child of Two Worlds’
    Short, sturdier
  • ‘Kneiffii’
    Compact, less showy flowers
  • var. dioicus
Tags:
#white#sun#full sun#partial shade#water garden#rain garden#cream#perennial#white flowers#wildlife plant#showy#shade tolerant#native perennial#rabbit resistant#stream banks#fire#medium flammability#NC native#Azure butterfly#summer flowers#deer resistant#cream flowers#bushy#ponds#spring interest#pollinator plant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#mid-summer flowers#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#butterfly friendly#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aruncus
    Species:
    dioicus
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used the ground root for various medical conditions.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America, North Carolina
    Distribution:
    AK , AL , AR , CA , DC , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , SC , TN , VA , WA , WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is the host plant for the Dusky Azure butterfly. Attracts birds and pollinators.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer and rabbit damage
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Description:
    Tiny brown seed capsule from June to September on female plants with 2-4 seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Large panicle of showy, plume-like clusters of small, creamy-white flowers which rise above the foliage from May to June. The flowers have five oval-shaped petals: the stamens have long, slender filaments.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Doubly Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The dark green bi-pinnately compound leaves are 2-3 feet long. Leaflets are 2-4 inches long, lanceolate with doubly-serrate margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits