Aruncus dioicus (Goatsbeard)

photo by Walter Siegmund

Where Commonly Found:
Human-made or disturbed sites, mountain summits and plateaus, rich woods, banks, MA, ME, NY.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key for Aruncus dioicus.
Missouri Botanical Garden description of Aruncus dioicus.

Flower Color: White
Flower Type: Large 12″ plume-like flowers of dense spikes, each 2″-3″ long, in branching clusters, flowering above the foliage in mid May – late June.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Type:  Pinnate, compound leaves
of egg-shaped leaflets, prominent teeth, dark green.
Height:  3′-  6′
Seed Collection: Dioecious (separate male and female plants), seeds of female plants in long golden/green chains .Clip whole cluster when small, thin pods turn red-tinged/yellow.  Let dry, then crush gently with rolling pin and rub on screen to release seeds.

Attracts:  Butterflies,  Larval Host
Use:  Garden, Rain Garden
Light:  Part Sun to Full Shade
Hardiness Zone:  4 to 8  USDA Zone Map
Soils:  Moist
Notes:  A robust butterfly attractant, sporting large creamy plumes and serving as a host plant for the Dusky Azure butterfly.
Introduced to ME, MA, NY, native to ME, MA, RI, east central southeast US:  Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: