ARUNCUS (Goat’s Beard) Rosaceae A. dioicus (A. sylvester)
HABITAT: Native to North America. Zones 3-8.
USES: Pots, cuts, shade to sunny beds.
HABIT: Magnificent Astilbe-like, feathery plumes of ivory blossoms appear early to midsummer above large, rough, light-green, compound alternate leaves. The tiny 5-petaled flowers are male and female and are borne on separate plants. This hardy, herbaceous, erect shrub grows up to 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide with many branching stems.
GERMINATION: Sow seed in shallow rows and cover to their thickness. Bottom water and place in a cool location, about 60°F. Germination should take place in about three weeks. Germination on old seed may be enhanced by chilling seed first at 40°F for four weeks.
CULTURE: Grows best in sun in the North and shade in the South. Adaptable to most soil types but prefers a rich, moist soil. Constant moisture is important. Plant 18 to 24 inches apart or as a specimen plant.
PESTS AND DISEASES: Generally trouble free.
COMMENTS: Flowering occurs on two to three year old plants. Showier male plants make better specimens. Female plants' seed pods are good for drying.