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AEGOPODIUM podagraria

Image of Aegopodium podagraria

Russell Stafford

Family

Apiaceae

Botanical Name

AEGOPODIUM podagraria

Plant Common Name

Bishop's Goutweed

General Description

Bishop's Goutweed is a fast-spreading Eurasian groundcover that has become naturalized across the whole of North America. It spreads via rhizomes (rooting underground stems) and has green compound leaves with three to nine leaflets. The equally weedy garden variety, 'Variegatum', is the most common form in cultivation and has leaves mottled with ivory.

In mid-spring to summer, goutweed produces umbels of tiny white flowers that are insect-pollinated and produce lots of brown seeds that spread and germinate quickly. Removing seed heads will curtail unwanted volunteer plants from seeding in, but plants spread just as aggressively via rhizomes, so pulling whole plants is the only way to truly eradicate them.

Like most weeds, this is not a picky plant; it will grow in full sun to shade and tolerate almost any garden soil with decent drainage. Plant only in areas where deep edging can be set into the ground to prevent roots from spreading beyond desired borders. Planting in a deeply shaded, dry location will reduce vigor. Cut back severely in summer to rejuvenate lush new growth for late summer and fall. The variegated cultivar 'Variegatum' is prettier but still quite invasive and to be avoided. Aegopodium podagraria is on the USDA list of invasive plants to avoid.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6"-18" / 15.2cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    12"-72" / 30.5cm - 182.9cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Groundcover

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Yes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes