Goat's Beard, Aruncus Dioicus

Goat's Beard, also known as bride’s feathers, is a perennial in the rose (Rosaceae) family. Native to the northern hemisphere in North America, Europe, and Asia, this plant generally grows in moist woods, meadows, and along streams. It is tolerant of most soil conditions and can grow in full sun in the northern part of its range.

Goat's Beard is a very showy plant growing up to six feet tall in large bushy clumps. Feathery clusters of tiny cream colored flowers grow on long branched spikes high above the leaves and give a spectacular display from late May through mid July. Goat's Beard is a dioecious plant meaning each plant has either all female flowers or all male flowers. Plants with male flowers produce showier blooms than plants with female flowers. The word “Aruncus” comes from the Greek word aryngos (goat’s beard) and refers to the plume of flowers. 

Native Americans have used Goat's Beard for medicinal purposes. For example, poultices made from the roots have been used on sores and bee stings. Infusions from the roots have been used for a variety of cures including rheumatism, sore throats, fevers, and blood disease.

Goat's Beard is in bloom now in the Botanical Center's summer garden and can be found in sunny Bed 6 at the southern end of the perennial garden on the hillside behind the bench. It is also blooming in the shade in Parallel Worlds behind the Welcome Center.

USDA Forest Services