When you think of the fringes of a wooded area, think Aruncus. With delicate ivory plumes that make sterling cut flowers, Goat’s Beard is similar to Astilbe, although its sprightly form is more open. A natural beside a pool or stream, this trouble-free perennial favors moist soil, but can handle drier sites and some wind.
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.
AVAILABLE SPRING 2020
While the species is a larger perennial hailing from Missouri, this compact, daintier 1889 version sprouts Japanese Maple-shaped leaves, finely hewn with thread-like segments. Sheer cream-colored plumes of minute starry blooms twinkle above the ultrafine deep green hummock. Ideal for gardens short on space plus fresh or dry arrangements, ‘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.
A flurry of large lacy white panicles illuminates the handsome feathered foliage and numerous branching stems. Forging a verdant leafy clump that is shorter and sturdier than the species, this German hybrid dispels all images of a stocky work plant. Its name means “child of two worlds,” and it is indeed otherworldly under tall canopies of Styrax or Maples.
Size: 2-1/2' high x 2' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 5.
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.