DWARF GOAT'S BEARD
Sunset zones: 1-9,14-17.
USDA zones: 3-9.
Heat zones: 9-3.
Height: 10-16 inches (25-40 cm).
Width: 10-16 inches (25-40 cm).
Early to midsummer.
Plumes of creamy-white flowers very similar looking to Astilbe.
Fern-like, deeply cut leaves. Leaves turn a rich rustic-red in autumn if growing in full sun.
Clump forming perennial.
Full sun, partial to full shade.
Fertile, humus rich, moist soil
Side dress with compost or leafmold annually, or mulch with shredded bark.
Sow seed in fall or spring, keep at 24-39ºF (-4 to +4ºC) for 4-8 weeks, then move to temperatures at 64-71ºF (18-22ºC) until germination. | Division fall or early spring.
Pests or Diseases:
None; even slugs turn their noses up at Aruncus.
Rainy Side Notes
Aruncus aethusifolius is an effortless perennial to grow. Their dwarf stature and delicate, fern-like foliage makes them suitable for the front of the border, yet they look perfectly at home in a moist woodland setting. The ivory flower plumes of aruncus are comparable to an astilbe’s plumes, and both plants look good as understory plants for tall-canopied trees, nestled in beside hostas and epimediums. If you do not deadhead the plants, the seed heads add winter interest.
Aruncus does well in our mild maritime climate in the Pacific Northwest. Here we can appreciate them in the full sun garden, or in the shaded woodland garden.
Like Astilbe, it needs a lot of moisture during the growing season; do not let the soil dry out. If growing in full sun, the foliage turns a rusty-red color before it dies back to the ground.
Locate the plants where you can view them back lit by the sun. Aruncus is an excellent forage plant for bees.
Photographed in author's garden.