Dwarf Goatsbeard

Aruncus aethusifolius

Description & Overview

An especially attractive dwarf version of the more familiar, taller, “Goatsbeard”.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 8″-12″
Mature Spread: 12″-16″
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Perennial
Light Requirements: Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Intolerant of dry soil
Flower: Loose, open, cream white Astilbe-like plume on dark colored stems
Bloom Period: Early to Mid Summer
Foliage: Lacy, fern-like
Fall Color: Mix of yellow, orange and red
Fruit Notes: Brown seed

Suggested Uses:

Aruncus aethusifolius is happiest in rich soil in partial shade, so it is ideally suited to the moist woodland garden. Its compact habit makes it a good choice for the shaded rock garden or the front of the shaded border. Its tidy form lends itself to use as an edging plant in the more formal garden as well. It is also effective when massed.

Salable size #1 Container. Picture taken mid-July. Flowers spent.

Wildlife Value:

The flowers are a source of pollen and nectar for native insects.

Maintenance Tips:

Dwarf Goatsbeard thrives in moist soil so during periods of dry weather it will appreciate supplemental water. The dried seed heads can be left on the plant, but its beautiful foliage is best appreciated if seed heads are cut off once flowering is complete. The plant should be cut to the ground prior to new growth beginning in the spring and it is at the discretion of the individual gardener whether this is done in late autumn or in earliest spring.

Pests/Problems:

Aruncus is a hardy plant that is not prone to insect or disease damage. It is also resistant to browsing by deer & rabbits.

Dwarf Goatsbeard Leaf Lore:

Aruncus aethusifolius has been recognized by the Royal Horticultural Society with the prestigious Award of Garden Merit. Aruncus dioicus, the larger native cousin of Dwarf Goatsbeard, was historically used medicinally by Native Americans.

Companion Plants:

Its lacy foliage adds textural contrast among bolder foliage plants such as Hostas, Brunneras or American Ginger.




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