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Aruncus (uh-RUN-kuss)

Common Name:  Goat's beard

Light:  - Part sun to full shade

Soil:  Well-aerated, moist, deeply humus rich

Moisture:  Consistently moist

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  3 - 8


Aruncus aethusifolius

Aruncus dioicus

Aruncus Description and Cultural Information

Aruncus aethusifolius, dwarf goat's beard. 8" - 12". This plant has fine, dark-green, ferny foliage with creamy white flower spikes in late summer. It forms a tight little mound making it a great choice in the shady border.

Aruncus dioicus, goat's beard. 4' - 6'. Goat's beard is a very large shrublike perennial with large, creamy white plumes in early summer. 'Zweiweltenkind', a.k.a. 'Child of Two Worlds', blooms a little later and is more compact than the species, making it easier to use in most gardens.

Aruncus 'Misty Lace' PP#15798 is a chance cross between the two species resulting in a plant with dense, tight blooms like the dwarf goat's beard but on a larger plant, growing about 18" high and 24" wide.

How to Grow:  Goat's beards are not too picky as to where they are grown, but for best growth and year round appearance plant them in evenly moist, deeply humus-rich, well-aerated soil in partial shade. Give Aruncus dioicus plenty of room as they can easily reach 4' in diameter when established. Plants may be male or female. The male plants are typically more bushy and the female plants will often self seed. It takes a while for these to reach maturity but is worth the wait.

Landscape uses:  Tall goat's beards can be planted as a specimen or an accent. Plant with shrubs, ornamental grasses, or as a background in the perennial gardens. Use dwarf goat's beard along the border in the shady garden with hostas, toad lilies, tiarellas, and wildflowers.

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