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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?

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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.