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Aruncus dioicus

Common Name(s):

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

Aruncus dioicus, commonly called goat's beard ,is a rose family member and is somewhat similar in appearance to astilbe. It is a dioecious plant (separate male and female plants) as the species name suggests. Plants with male flowers (numerous stamens per flower) produce a showier bloom than plants with female flowers (three pistils per flower).  Males and females are separate in Goat's beard, but nurseries typically do not separate the male from female plants.  It grows into a tall, bushy, large clump which makes a bold display in a shady garden.  It will spread by rhizomes.

   Goat's Beard is best grown in moist, fertile, organically rich soils in full sun to part shade. Foliage decline can occur rapidly if soils are permitted to dry out. With consistent moisture, it performs well in full sun in the northern portions of its growing range. It prefers part shade in the southern part of its growing range. Removing faded flower stalks will not prolong bloom, but may improve plant appearance, particularly if a ground cover look is desired. On the other hand, flower stalks on female plants may be left in place to enjoy the continuing ornamental effect of the dried seed plumes. Plants can be slow to establish. Plants may struggle in the hot and humid conditions of the deep South and are not recommended for gardens south of USDA Zone 7.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont

Seasons of Interest:

  Blooms:   Spring           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late Summer

 Wildlife Value:  This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer and rabbits.  It is the host plant for the Dusky Azure butterfly.

Propagation Extra Details: Division should be done in spring.

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

Cultivars:
Tags:
#white#butterflies#sun#pollinators#full sun#partial shade#rain garden#summer#spring#cream#perennial#white flowers#wildflowers#showy#shade tolerant#rabbit resistant#Azure butterfly#deer resistant#cream flower#cream flowers#bushy#mid-summer
Cultivars:
Tags:
#white#butterflies#sun#pollinators#full sun#partial shade#rain garden#summer#spring#cream#perennial#white flowers#wildflowers#showy#shade tolerant#rabbit resistant#Azure butterfly#deer resistant#cream flower#cream flowers#bushy#mid-summer
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aruncus
    Species:
    dioicus
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America, North Carolina
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer and rabbits. It is the host plant for the Dusky Azure butterfly.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer and rabbit damage
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    seed plumes
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    This plant has large, showy, plume-like spike clusters of small, creamy white flowers which rise well above the foliage in early to mid-summer creating a bold effect. The flowers have five oval-shaped petals: the stamens have long, slender filaments.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    This plant features pinnately compound, dark green foliage and two to three times pinnate and large, egg-shaped leaflets.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits