Goatsbeard Aruncus 'Horatio'

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


Aruncus 'Horatio', commonly known as Goat's beard, is an ornamental perennial plant characterized by its attractive foliage and striking plumes of creamy-white flowers. The leaves of the Goat's beard are large and finely dissected, resembling those of a fern, with a texture that is somewhat coarse to the touch. These leaves create a dense, bushy mound that serves as a lush, green backdrop for the plant's more dramatic flowering stems. The flowers themselves are borne on erect, branching stems that rise above the foliage, forming intricate panicles. They are small, star-shaped, and densely packed together to create the appearance of a soft, feathery column. The flowers are prized for their airy and frothy appearance, which adds a distinct softness and a sense of movement to gardens when caught by a gentle breeze. The Goat's beard has a graceful, arching form and the overall impression it gives is one of elegance and delicacy. This plant is often favored by gardeners looking to add texture to shady or woodland garden settings. Its visual interest continues through the flowering season, where it can serve as both a specimen plant or as a backdrop to other shade-loving floral species. The coloring of both the foliage and flowers allows for easy integration into various garden color schemes, making the Goat's beard a versatile choice for landscaping designs.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Goatsbeard, Bride's Feathers

    • Common names

      Aruncus 'Horatio'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Goatsbeard is not commonly known to be toxic to humans. However, as with any plant material, individual sensitivities can vary, and it is generally recommended that people avoid ingesting parts of ornamental plants as they are not intended for consumption.

    • To pets

      Goatsbeard is not commonly known to be toxic to pets either. That said, it's still a good practice to prevent pets from eating ornamental plants since individual reactions can differ, and non-toxic plants can still cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large quantities.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.91-1.22 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.61-0.91 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Aruncus 'Horatio', commonly known as Goat's beard, has attractive, large, feathery plumes of creamy white flowers that add visual interest to the garden.
    • Low Maintenance: It is a low-maintenance perennial that requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for busy gardeners.
    • Tolerant of Different Conditions: Goat's beard is tolerant of a range of soil types and can thrive in both full sun and partial shade environments.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers of the Goat's beard attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Seasonal Interest: This plant provides visual interest across multiple seasons with its foliage in spring and summer, and seed heads in autumn and winter.
    • Border Plant: Its stature and form make it suitable for use in perennial borders or as a background plant in garden layouts.
    • Erosion Control: The fibrous root system of Aruncus 'Horatio' can help in stabilizing soil and prevent erosion on slopes or in certain garden situations.
    • Deer Resistant: Goat's beard is less likely to be eaten by deer, which can be an important consideration for gardeners in areas with high deer populations.

  • 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

    • Photography Prop: Aruncus 'Horatio', also known as Goat's beard, can serve as an enchanting backdrop or a natural prop for outdoor photography, adding a whimsical element to the scene.
    • Dried Flower Arrangements: The feathery plumes of the Goat's beard, when dried, can add texture and interest to dried floral arrangements and crafts.
    • Education: Horticulture students can use Goat's beard to study plant morphology, particularly its herbaceous perennial growth patterns and unique flower structures.
    • Biological Indicator: Aruncus 'Horatio' can be used by botanists and ecologists as an indicator plant to signify certain soil conditions or the presence of particular ecosystems.
    • Art Inspiration: Artists may take inspiration from the intricate details of Goat's beard's plumes and leaves for paintings, illustrations, and textile designs.
    • Erosion Control: Due to its substantial root system, Goat's beard can be planted on slopes or areas prone to erosion to help stabilize the soil.
    • Privacy Screening: When planted in mass, Goat's beard can create a natural and aesthetically pleasing privacy screen in gardens or along property boundaries.
    • Theme Gardens: This plant is suitable for inclusion in fairy or fantasy-themed gardens, providing a sense of enchantment and natural beauty.
    • Seasonal Interest: Gardeners can use Goat's beard to provide visual interest during the transitional periods between seasons, particularly from spring to summer when it is in bloom.
    • Wildlife Habitat: While not directly a usage, Goat's beard in the garden can support local ecosystems by providing habitat and resources for insects and birds.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Goatsbeard is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Goatsbeard is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Nobility: The Aruncus plant, commonly known as Goat's Beard, resembles the fine plume of a noble person. In that way, it symbolizes sophistication and dignity.
    • Purity: With its delicate white flowers, Goat's Beard is often associated with purity and innocence.
    • Protection: The dense foliage and the height of the Goat's Beard can give a protective ambiance in gardens, symbolizing shelter and safety.
    • Humility: Despite its grand appearance, Goat's Beard does not demand the prime spot in the garden, often thriving in the background, which can be interpreted as a sign of modesty and humility.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Goat's beard should be watered deeply once a week, providing about 1 to 1.5 inches of water each time, which equates to approximately 0.62 gallons per square foot per month. During hot or dry periods, increase watering frequency to maintain consistent soil moisture, but be careful not to overwater as this plant prefers well-drained soil. Adjust the watering schedule during the fall and winter months, as the plant requires less water while dormant.

  • sunLight

    Goat's beard thrives in part shade to full shade conditions. The ideal spot for this plant would be in a garden area that receives filtered sunlight or several hours of morning sun followed by shade in the afternoon. Too much direct sunlight can cause leaf burn, so avoid placing Goat's beard in areas with intense afternoon sun exposure.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Goat's beard performs well in a wide range of temperatures and can survive winter temperatures as low as -20°F. Its ideal growing conditions are in areas with summer temperatures ranging from 65°F to 75°F. While it is cold-hardy, extended periods of heat over 86°F may stress the plant and require additional shading and watering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Goat's beard should be done to remove spent flower stalks and to maintain plant shape. It’s best to prune immediately after flowering to encourage the plant's energy to focus on root and foliage growth. Pruning back foliage in late fall or early winter prepares the plant for the next growing season; however, some gardeners leave the seed heads for winter interest and prune in early spring.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Goat's beard thrives in organically rich, moist, well-draining soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Amend garden soil with compost and peat moss to improve fertility and structure.

  • plantRepotting

    Goat's beard doesn't often require repotting as it is commonly grown outdoors; divide clumps every 3-4 years to maintain vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Goat's beard prefers average to high humidity levels but is quite adaptable to different humidity conditions when grown outdoors.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Goat's beard in bright, indirect light and ensure high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in part shade, moist soil, and mulch yearly.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of the 'Horatio' Goat's beard (Aruncus 'Horatio') begins with seed germination, usually in cool temperatures after a period of stratification to break dormancy. Seedlings emerge with their first set of true leaves and establish a small root system. The juvenile stage follows, characterized by the development of a larger root system and fuller foliage, but the plant does not yet flower. As it matures, the Goat's beard enters its reproductive stage, producing tall, feathery plumes of cream-colored flowers in late spring to early summer. After flowering, seeds develop and are dispersed from the spent flower heads, and the plant enters a period of dormancy in the fall and winter. Each year, the perennial 'Horatio' Goat's beard will repeat this cycle, with the plant growing larger and more robust over time.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method for propagating Aruncus 'Horatio', also known as Goat's beard, is by division of its clumps. This should ideally be done in the early spring before new growth begins or in the late fall after the plant has gone dormant. To propagate by division, carefully dig up an established plant and gently separate the root clump into smaller sections, each with several shoots and a healthy supply of roots. These sections can then be immediately replanted in the garden, ensuring that each division is spaced about 18 to 24 inches (approximately 45 to 61 centimeters) apart to allow room for growth. Water the newly planted divisions thoroughly to help establish them. This method is effective because it helps rejuvenate older plants while creating new ones.