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Plant Spotlight: Goat’s Beard

June 13th, 2011

Four years ago I purchased a few tiny white Goat’s Beard (Aruncus dioicus) plants for my garden. I planted them in the side garden waiting to get a spot ready for them in one of the borders. Last year when we put in the garden pond, I decided they would be quite lovely growing behind it. It’s in full bloom at the moment and stunningly beautiful, drawing my attention to it whenever I’m in the front yard.

Goat’s Beard or Bride’s Feathers as it’s also known, is a flowering perennial that will be 3-6 feet tall and 2-4 foot wide when mature. It is native in the Eastern portions of the United States as well as parts of Europe and Siberia. It prefers light shade and moist soil and will grow in zones 3-7.

It blooms beautifully in May/June with big white feathery blossoms that look a lot like astilbe. I love the way it looks at dusk, the big white blossoms glow along the dark woodland edge. It seems to attract a lot of small native pollinators while it’s blooming. The foliage is attractive even when it’s not in bloom. I like to leave the dried blossoms on it to add some interest.

Goat’s beard is also available in dwarf forms if your garden is small. It’s definitely a worthwhile plant to look into incorporating somewhere in your garden, especially if you live in the Eastern portions of the US where it would be right at home in a native border.

Any great plants that you’re loving in your garden at the moment?

11 Comments to “Plant Spotlight: Goat’s Beard”
  1. Songbirdtiff on June 13, 2011 at 9:39 am

    My favorite is always the same…tomatoes. They remind me of my grandpas garden, and I love seeing how the different varieties grow from day to day. Right now I’m also enjoying my dill weed. It’s so gentle and delicate.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  2. KimH on June 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I love all my plants Its difficult to choose just one.. kinda like my kiddos. ;)
    One interesting one that has been growing naturally in my shade garden isanctuary is a mock orange, (I think that is what it is) . Its just quiet and understated enough that its beautiful..the flowers are so simple but sweet.
    I didnt plant it & I dont know if someone else did or if a bird did.. Either way.. I love it.

    I’ve never seen Goats-beard. I like it.. the foliage reminds me of rose.. sure is different. Gotta love that.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  3. SixBalloons on June 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    So delicate and beautiful. I’m loving my comfrey plants right now – the purple flowers are starting to open up, inviting all these sweet honey bees to my garden. The leaves are also perfect organic fertilizer for my tomatoes and peppers.

    Reply to SixBalloons's comment

    • Susy on June 14, 2011 at 9:34 am

      I too love comfrey, for the flowers and the benefits in the garden. I’m getting ready to harvest mine when I plant all my new boxwood plants as they’re supposed to be really beneficial to put in the holes when planting new plants. I keep adding more and more comfrey to my gardens because they’re so beneficial, next year I’m hoping to add some creeping comfrey groundcover that I read about.

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  4. Sarah on June 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    The question is…will deer eat it?

    Reply to Sarah's comment

    • Susy on June 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

      The deer around here won’t touch it and we have quite a number of them eating just about everything else in the garden.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Laurrie on June 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Goatsbeard is slow to establish — did yours take a while to put on any size? Mine are new and not doing much yet, but your post makes me want to be patient for another year or two. I also have the dwarf goatsbeard and they really do stay tiny. They are just a round ball one foot square of lovely foliage and the tiniest little bride feather blooms! Thanks for the profile on these plants.

    Reply to Laurrie's comment

    • Susy on June 14, 2011 at 11:47 am

      Yes, mine took 3-4 years to get to a decent size, then I moved them so they didn’t grow much last year. When I purchased them they were only 4-5 inches tall. I think next year they’ll finally be to mature size, they’re currently about 3 or 4 ft tall & wide.

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  6. Eleanor on June 15, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Does goa’ts beard prefer shade? I have one growing in full sun, but I don’t really like it where it is. This Fall, I could move it to my front yard, which has several large trees. It would look great nestled against a tree.

    Reply to Eleanor's comment

    • Susy on June 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      Yep, it does enjoy some shade. Mine get a few hours of late afternoon sun and they seem to be thriving. They will take full sun if they get a good amount of water.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Prince on January 22, 2012 at 8:09 am

    This plant is fantastic for gardens. I’d love to know info on how to take care of this kind of plant. This looks amazing! :)

    Reply to Prince's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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