ARUNCUS Goafs Beard

Aruncus needs four things – a partially shaded site, moist soil containing adequate humus, plenty of water in dry weather and plenty of space at all times. It is an imposing perennial forthebackofthe border, poolside, wild garden or on its own as a specimen plant. For a few weeks in June or July the tall stems are crowned with large fluffy flower spikes. Each one is about 8 in. long and bears a multitude of tiny white flowers. Watch out for caterpillars in spring – spray immediately. Cut the stems down to an inch or two above ground level in late autumn.

VARIETIES: There is a single species – A. Sylvester, formerly known as Spiraea aruncus. It may take a year or two to become properly established, but given the right conditions Aruncus will reach 6 ft or more. Set the plants 2.5 ft apart. A. Sylvester is too large for most gardens – choose the variety ‘Kneiffii’ (2 ft) where space is limited.

SITE AND SOIL: Any reasonable garden soil will do – add organic matter before planting. Choose a spot which receives some shade during the day.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn – mature plants are difficult to split.

A. Sylvester

A. amellus Lady Hindlip’

A. frikartii Wonder of Stafa’

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