Goatsbeard Aruncus dioicus (m)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
goat's beard


Aruncus dioicus, commonly known as goat's beard, is a robust perennial plant with a bushy, clump-forming habit. It has deep green, fern-like foliage that creates a fine, feathery texture. The compound leaves are arranged alternately on the stems and consist of many small, toothed leaflets, giving the plant a lacey, delicate appearance. During its blooming period, goat's beard produces impressive, plume-like flower spikes composed of tiny, creamy white flowers. These feathery flowers resemble those of astilbes and stand out against the dense foliage, giving the plant a soft, billowy look. The flowers are favored by pollinators such as bees and butterflies which adds to the visual interest of the plant. Overall, the appearance of goat's beard is elegant and stately, making it a striking addition to garden settings where it can create a backdrop or serve as a focal point without consideration of its specific dimensions.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Bride's Feathers, Goatsbeard, Buck's-Beard, Goat's Beard, Bride's-whiskers.

    • Common names

      Aruncus sylvestris, Aruncus vulgaris, Spiraea aruncus.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Goat's beard, the common name for Aruncus dioicus, is not typically toxic to humans. It does not possess known toxic compounds that lead to poisoning upon ingestion. However, individuals who are sensitive to certain plants may experience mild irritation in the mouth or stomach if they consume parts of the plant, but this is an uncommon reaction.

    • To pets

      Goat's beard is not known to be toxic to pets. It does not contain harmful substances that would lead to poisoning in animals such as dogs or cats. Like with humans, individual pets may have sensitivity or allergic reactions, but this is not typical and most pets will not experience adverse effects from ingesting parts of the plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Northern Hemisphere


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Aruncus dioicus, commonly known as goat's beard, has attractive foliage and plume-like flowering spikes that make it a desirable addition to landscape designs.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers provide nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, while the dense foliage can offer shelter for small wildlife.
    • Erosion Control: The robust root system helps to stabilize soil, making goat's beard useful for erosion control on slopes or banks.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, goat's beard is relatively low maintenance, requiring minimal care apart from occasional watering during dry spells.
    • Tolerance to Shade: Goat's beard is well-suited to shady garden spots where other sun-loving plants might struggle to thrive.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Goat's beard can be used as a natural dye, providing a soft yellow hue to fabrics when the roots are processed.
    • The feathery blooms of Goat's beard can be included in floral arrangements to add texture and a wildflower aesthetic.
    • The seed heads of Goat's beard can be collected and used for ornamental purposes in dried flower crafts and wreaths.
    • In garden design, larger cultivars of Goat's beard are used as a naturalistic backdrop, simulating the look of a forest undergrowth.
    • The dense foliage of Goat's beard can provide a privacy screen in the garden when planted in groups or as a hedge.
    • Landscape architects may utilize Goat's beard to stabilize stream banks and prevent erosion due to its robust root system.
    • In colder climates, the plant's ability to withstand snow provides seasonal interest, as the dried flower stalks poke through the snow.
    • During autumn, Goat's beard contributes to the fall landscape with its foliage turning into attractive shades of yellow.
    • Some cultures consider Goat's beard to be a symbol of protection; it is planted near homes with the belief that it wards off negative energy.
    • Because of its height and structure, Goat's beard can be used in permaculture designs as part of a layered planting approach to create an edible forest garden.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Goat's Beard is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Goat's Beard is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Femininity and Masculinity: Aruncus dioicus, commonly known as Goat's beard, features distinctly separate male and female plants, symbolizing the complementary nature of masculine and feminine energies.
    • Purity: The Goat's beard's white and creamy flower plumes are often associated with purity and innocence, similar to many other white-flowered plants.
    • Protection: With its robust and expansive growth, the Goat's beard can symbolize a form of natural protection or shelter, similar to the way its dense foliage can provide cover in the wild.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Goat's beard should be watered deeply once a week, providing about 1 to 1.5 inches of water, which equates to approximately 0.5 to 0.8 gallons per square foot of soil area. During periods of drought or extreme heat, the frequency should be increased to ensure the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Always check the soil moisture level before watering to prevent overwatering. In cooler temperatures or rainy seasons, reduce the frequency to match the plant's lower water requirements.

  • sunLight

    Goat's beard thrives best in partial shade to full shade conditions. The ideal spot for Goat's beard is where it can receive dappled sunlight or light shade, protecting it from the intense heat of the afternoon sun. However, it can tolerate some morning sun as long as its roots are kept cool and moist.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Goat's beard prefers cooler climates and does well in temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit as its ideal growing condition. It is hardy and can withstand minimum temperatures down into the low 20s Fahrenheit but may suffer when temperatures exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit regularly. Ensure the plant has adequate moisture and shade during the hotter parts of the day when temperatures rise.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Goat's beard is essential to maintain its shape and to remove any spent flowers or dead foliage, which encourages new growth and improves air circulation. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth starts; this is also the best time to cut back any old foliage to the ground. Deadheading, or the removal of old flower spikes after blooming, can prolong the blooming period and prevent self-seeding if not desired.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Goat's Beard thrives in moist, well-draining soil with a rich organic matter content. A soil mix comprising one part garden soil, one part compost, and one part peat or leaf mold will support its growth. The ideal soil pH for Goat's Beard should be slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, ranging from 5.5 to 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Goat's Beard, being a perennial, does not require frequent repotting. It is typically repotted or divided every 3-4 years to rejuvenate the plant and prevent overcrowding.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Goat's Beard prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable to various humidity conditions as long as it's not extremely dry. Ensuring good air circulation around the plant can help maintain suitable humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light and keep moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade with moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Aruncus dioicus, commonly known as Goat's beard, begins its life cycle as a seed, which upon germination, grows into a small seedling. The plant then enters a vegetative stage, during which it develops a rosette of pinnately compound leaves. As it matures, it develops a robust rhizome system and reaches the flowering stage in early to mid-summer, producing tall feathery plumes of creamy white flowers. The male and female flowers are usually found on separate plants (dioecious). After pollination, typically by insects, seeds are produced and dispersed, completing the reproductive cycle. The plant then enters a period of dormancy during the winter months, with the cycle beginning anew in the spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to summer

    • Aruncus dioicus, commonly known as Goat's Beard, is typically propagated in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. The most popular method of propagation for Goat's Beard is by division, where the plant's root ball is gently separated into several smaller sections, each with a part of the crown and some root. These sections are then replanted in well-prepared soil, ensuring good contact between the roots and the earth. It's important to water these new plants thoroughly after planting to help establish them. This approach to propagation can quickly increase the number of plants and is generally successful due to the robust nature of Goat's Beard's root system.