Aruncus

Goat's Beard

When you think of a woodland setting, think Aruncus. With elegant, feathery ivory plumes, Goat’s Beard is similar to and combines well with Astilbe, although it is airier in form. A terrific understory for tall canopies of Styrax japonicus or Maples, it thrives in moist soil, and is a natural beside a pool or stream. Place Aruncus where you can view it from the south, to take advantage of its tendency to lean toward the sun. It’s a popular cut flower.

<i>Aruncus aethusifolius</i>

Topped by creamy white plumes of minute star-like flowers, fine ultra-chiseled foliage and red-tinged stems shape a tidy dwarf habit that works well as a ground cover around flat stones and rocks. This small gem can also be tucked into the front of the border with broad-leafed Epimediums nearby.

Blooms late May–mid-June.

Size: 8" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Aruncus dioicus</i> ‘Kneiffii’

While the species is a larger perennial hailing from Missouri, this compact, daintier 1889 version sprouts Japanese Maple-like leaves, finely hewn with thread-like segments. Sheer cream-colored plumes of minute starry blooms twinkle above the ultra-fine deep green hummock. Ideal as a cut flower, fresh or dried, and for gardens short on space, ‘Kneiffii’ can be massed along streams or ponds and in moist shady borders or woodland gardens.

Blooms June–July

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

<i>Aruncus dioicus</i> ‘Zweiweltenkind’

Shorter and sturdier than the species, this German hybrid does well in windy areas. Dispelling all images of a stocky work plant, its name means “child of two worlds,” and it is indeed otherworldly.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Aruncus</i> ‘Horatio’

Steeped in elegance, yet remarkably steadfast, this exquisite perennial was bred by noted German nurseryman, Ernest Pagels. ‘Horatio’ is a meticulously crafted cross between Aruncus aethusifolius and Aruncus dioicus, prized for its unique sparkling plumes of tiny cream-colored blooms, which splay out in a horizontal fashion from bronze-tinted upright stems. Fresh green fernlike foliage forms a bushy base beneath the airy star-shaped flowers.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 3' 0" – 3-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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