Actaea dioica Walter
Aruncus acuminatus (Douglas ex Hook.) Rydb.
Aruncus aethusifolius (H.Lév.) Nakai
Aruncus allegheniensis Rydb.
Aruncus americanus Raf.
Aruncus aruncus (L.) H.Karst.
Aruncus asiaticus Pojark.
Aruncus astilboides Maxim.
Aruncus barbacaprae Fourr.
Aruncus camschaticus (Maxim.) Rydb.
Aruncus capribarba Wender
Aruncus kamtschaticus (Maxim.) Rydb.
Aruncus kyusianus Koidz.
Aruncus laciniatus H.Hara
Aruncus pubescens Rydb.
Aruncus subrotundatus Tatew.
Aruncus sylvestris Kostel. ex Maxim.
Aruncus tomentosus (Koidz.) Koidz.
Aruncus vulgaris Raf.
Astilbe aruncus (L.) Trevir.
Astilbe thunbergii aethusifolius H.Lév.
Spiraea aruncus L.
Spiraea paniculata St.-Lag.
Ulmaria aruncus (L.) Hill
Common Name: Goat's Beard
Aruncus dioicus is a vigorous, herbaceous, perennial plant with a stout, much-branched but shortly-creeping rhizome; it can grow up to 2 metres tall. The plant produces a tight cluster of unbranched stems which flower at their apex[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. Much grown in gardens, it makes an excellent tall ground cover that is very effective in holding invasive roots at bay.
Cyanogenic glycosides are found in the leaves[
Widely spread in temperate regions of central and southern Europe, Asia to Japan and Korea; East & West N. America - Alaska to California, Georgia
Damp woods, shady places and by streams, usually in mountainous areas[
]. Rich woods, stream banks, north-facing roadsides, seeps, ditches; at elevations from 10 - 1,500 metres in N. America[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Plants are hardy to at least -20°c[
Succeeds in most moist soils in sun or partial shade[
]. Plants do well in moist to wet soils but will also tolerate fairly dry sites[
]. Succeeds in acid or limey soils[
]. Grows well on the woodland edge[
]. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn[
This is a polymorphic species, especially the form that grows in Japan[
]. There are some named forms selected for their ornamental value, 'Kneiffii' is only half the size of the type species[
Plants are fast-growing[
] and can quickly form very large clumps[
]. The flowers are sweetly perfumed[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms must be grown if seed is required[
]. The male form is generally considered to be the better ornamental plant because the flowers are more showy[
Budlings, stems and young leaves - cooked[
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
A tea made from the roots is used to allay bleeding after child birth, to reduce profuse urination and to treat stomach pains, diarrhoea, gonorrhoea, fevers and internal bleeding[
The tea is used externally to bathe swollen feet and rheumatic joints[
]. A salve made from the root ashes is rubbed onto sores[
]. The poulticed root is applied to bee stings[
Plants are fast-growing and quickly form a dense growth and mat of roots that is very effective at holding the roots of invasive plants at bay[
]. They can be used as a tall ground cover for large areas[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in late winter or early spring in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall. They can be planted out into their permanent positions at any time of the year.
Division in early spring or autumn[
]. Very easy, the clumps can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.