goat's beard; bride's feathers; buck's beard
Aruncus dioicus is a vigorous, clump-forming, rhizomatous perennial with plume-like spikes of creamy white flowers from late spring-early summer. Attractive mounds of pinnately compound leaves with toothed leaflets. The flowers are usually unisexual. Male flowers have numerous stamens, and produce showier flower spikes than the female flowers which have three pistils per flower. The flowers attract bees and butterflies. The plant is toxic to humans and animals.
Aruncus dioicus belongs to the Rose Family (Rosaceae), and is distributed over a large area, including mountainous woodlands in the temperate zones of Europe, Asia, and Eastern and Western North America. The word "dioicus" is Latin for "having male and female flowers on separate plants.
Aruncus dioicus likes medium to wet soils. In particular for a position in full sun, it is important to keep the soil consistently moist. If that is not possible, then plant Aruncus in part shade or even in full shade. The plant is frost-hardy throughout New Zealand (UK zone 7; USDA 3-7). Generally trouble-free. Plants can be divided in autumn or early spring. Cut back after flowering. Winter dormant.
Aruncus dioicus is a lovely perennial with its feathery flower plumes lightening up the darker areas of the garden. It gets quite large, so plant where it will have sufficient space in the future.
Type of plantHerbaceous - Perennial
Size1.2-1.8 m tall, .6-1.2 m wide
Landscape UseSuitable for flower and foliage display woodland settings, wetlands, borders, and coastal gardens
- Temperature: Hardy
- Light: Medium High
- Soil: Light Medium Heavy
- Wind tolerance: Average
- Coastal tolerance: High