Aruncus aethusifolius
Common Name: goat's beard 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Korea
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Ivory
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy


Best grown in moist, fertile, organically rich soils in full sun to part shade. Foliage decline can occur rapidly if soils are permitted to dry out. Prefers part shade, particularly in the southern part of its growing range. Removing faded flower stalks will not prolong bloom, but may improve plant appearance, particularly if a ground cover look is desired. On the other hand, flower stalks may be left in place to enjoy the continuing ornamental effect of the dried seed plumes. Generally does not perform well in the hot and humid conditions of the deep South (USDA Zones 8-10). Plants can be slow to establish.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aruncus aethusifolius, a dwarf goat's beard, is a clump-forming perennial which typically grows to only 12" tall. Features fern-like, compound, 3-4 pinnate, dark green leaves which form a foliage mound to 4-6" tall. Astilbe-like plumes of tiny, creamy white flowers rise above the foliage to 12" tall in late spring.

Genus name is the classical Greek name for these plants.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spot.


Ground cover or edging. Partly shaded areas of rock gardens, border fronts, woodland gardens or shade gardens.