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Aruncus dioicus (goat's beard, bride's feathers)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Aruncus dioicus

goat's beard, bride's feathers

A fantastic native with large, fine-textured feathery blooms in late Spring. Though closely related to Spiraea, goat's beard more closely resembles a giant Astilbe. When happy, Aruncus can be a formidable garden plant, reaching a spread of 6 feet or more. It is lovely when used at woods edge and it can provide a dense screen beneath a high canopy.

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4-6 Feet


6 Feet


24-36 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 5-9

goat's beard, bride's feathers Interesting Notes

"Aruncus dioicus is a spectacular plant when given sufficient moisture, dappled shade, and plenty of room. In the northern states, plants are far more tolerant of afternoon sun than in the South. I read that males are more sought after than females because their plumes are supposedly fuller. One can argue that the male plumes are more feathery and upright than the drooping seed-laden females, but unless you are a chauvinist of some kind, it does not matter." - Allan Armitage

Goatsbeard is handsome, clump-forming plant, typically 3-4’ tall with attractive plume-like spikes of small creamy-white flowers held above bold, pinnately compound medium green leaves. Male and female flowers appear on separate plants. It is easily grown in average, humus-rich, well-drained soil in part shade. Use goatsbeard as a shrub-like background plant in the border, for screening, in moist areas along streams and ponds, or as a cut flower. Plant goatsbeard with other low maintenance perennials such as Asarum canadenseSpigelia marilandicaAdiantum pedatumTrillium erectum, Polemonium reptansArisaema triphyllum and Mertensia virginica. - Mt. Cuba Center

Aruncus dioicus Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers partial shade and consistent moisture, though a moist sunny site will work very well in cooler climates. Goat's beard will survive periods of drought, but the foliage will brown around the edges at the first sign of deprivation.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Green Infrastructure
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Open pollinated