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 leaves.
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
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).