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.
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.
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.
Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.
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.
Size: 3' 0" – 3-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide.
Hardy to zone 4.