Goatsbeard is a circumboreal species, native to both Europe and North America. In North America, there are two races - One in the East from Nova Scotia and Ontario south to Oklahoma and Georgia, and then another on the west coast from Alaska and the Yukon south to California.
The variety we grow is the Eastern strain, growing 4 feet tall and wide and blooming in June. Goatsbeard is an excellent shrub-like perennial for shady sites with moist soils - We have it growing on a dry hilltop garden, and it grows fine.
The plants emerge in typical perennial style in April, quickly developing to full size by mid-May. Flowers follow in June, and the plants maintain a nice green form the rest of the summer as long as conditions remain moist.
Goatsbeard is an excellent plant for moist shade - In northern latitudes, it can even be grown in full sun. Through most of eastern North America, goatsbeard makes a good filler for landscapes at the edge of woods or in forest clearings; with a good dose of morning sunlight, it will bloom much more prolifically.
With its tall form, goatsbeard makes a good shrub alternative in the shade - In the summer, it's difficult to tell whether it is a perennial or a shrub. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid it, making it an excellent woodland plant for areas with heavy deer populations.
Since it grows thickly, goatsbeard is a good plant for wooded areas to offer shelter for ground-feeding summer nesting birds. Plant in drifts of 3 to 5 for best effect.
Goatsbeard is a good plant for butterfly gardens, offering nectar and pollen in late Spring. Male and female flowers occur on different plants, and the seedlings will establish readily to colonize an area. The seedlings grow vigorously and can take over a rich, moist site very quickly, so site accordingly.
Goatsbeard is very easy to grow. The plants will often take a year or two to bloom, but they grow quickly once they've established. Space 3-4 feet apart in rich woodland soil, and water well in drought periods for the first year or two.
We sell Goatsbeard in 1 quart SuperPlugs, an innovative breathable fabric container. The fabric promotes air root-pruning, resulting in a dense, robust root system with hundreds of times the amount of root tips from standard nursery stock. To plant, simply cut a slit down the side of the pot and peel away the fabric.
|Botanical Name:||Aruncus dioicus|
|USDA Hardiness Zones:||3-7|
|Bloom Time:||Late May - Early June|
|Habit:||Slowly Spreading Shrublike Clump|
|Light Exposure:||Shade to Full Sun; Forest Edges & Clearings, Moist Northern Meadows|
|Soil Moisture:||Moist to Average|
|Soil Texture:||Clay Loam to Sandy Loam|
|Soil PH:||Neutral to Slightly Acidic|
|Landscape Uses:||Accent Plant, Mass Planting, Restoration Plantings|
|Benefits:||Shade Tolerant, Rabbit Tolerant, Deer Tolerant|
|Ecological Function:||Larval Food Source, Pollen & Nectar|