Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Goat's beard

Some plants struggle along, and then for one of a variety of reasons you move them, and voila, they prosper.  And so it was with this species of goat's beard (Aruncus dioicus).  After struggling along in obscurity for several years, it survived a near miss when rather than discarding it, we transplanted this goat's beard just to fill in some space vacated by removal of a gigantic old honeysuckle.  And what a transformation!  For the first time in our garden, it looks quite handsome topped with its lacy white inflorescences.  Apparently the combination of a heavier soil and heavier shade was not to its liking, and a silver bell shrub has also prospered by a move to a nearby site.  For many people the other surprising thing about this genus is that it belongs to the rose family.  It just doesn't look rosy to most people, but the foliage is purely rose family.  If you compare it to something like Sorbaria, you begin to see the connection to spireas and other small flowered roses.  

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