Virtues: ‘Fairy Hair’ goat’s beard is a compact variety that fits easily into any-size shade garden. Its frothy white flowers provide a vertical element and a bright touch to dim corners. This long-lived native perennial may remind you of astilbe, except it is easier to please.
Common name: Fairy Hair goat’s beard
Botanical name:Aruncus ‘Fairy Hair’
Exposure: Full sun to full shade
Season: Summer, for flowers and foliage
Flowers: Spikes of white flowers appear from early to midsummer. They resemble the upright, frothy flowers of astilbe.
Foliage: Fine textured, fernlike and medium green.
Habit: Upright, to 24 inches tall and wide.
Origins: Fairy Hair is a hybrid Aruncus introduced by Walters Gardens. Its parent Aruncus dioicus is a perennial native to eastern and western North America, Asia and Europe.
How to grow Fairy Hair goat’s beard: Site in full sun, part shade or full shade. This plant is more tolerant of more sun the farther north it is grown; provide protection from hot noonday sun in the south of its range. Provide regular water until it is established, but then it is fairly tolerant of drought. Goat’s beard can be slow to get going in a garden, but it is very long lived. USDA Zones 3–7.
Image credit: Walters Gardens