Aegopodium, Bishop's Weed, Goutweed, Ground Elder, Variegated Snow on the Mountain 'Variegatum'

Aegopodium podagraria

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aegopodium (ee-guh-POH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: podagraria (pod-uh-GRAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegatum



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

White/near White

Light Green




12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

East Richmond Heights, California

Monterey, California

Basalt, Colorado

Colorado City, Colorado

Craig, Colorado

Atlanta, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Downers Grove, Illinois

Jacksonville, Illinois

Lincoln, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Saint Charles, Illinois

Bremen, Indiana

Columbia City, Indiana

Goshen, Indiana

Inwood, Iowa

Princeton, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Ewing, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Mc Dowell, Kentucky

Bar Harbor, Maine

South China, Maine

Cumberland, Maryland

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Lenox, Massachusetts

Princeton, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts

Detroit, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Hamilton, Michigan

Howell, Michigan

Laingsburg, Michigan

Lansing, Michigan

Romeo, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Tustin, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota(2 reports)

Red Wing, Minnesota

Shevlin, Minnesota

Piedmont, Missouri

Choteau, Montana

Helena, Montana

Sparks, Nevada

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Rindge, New Hampshire

Hoboken, New Jersey

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

South Plainfield, New Jersey

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Bolton Landing, New York

Buffalo, New York

Eden, New York

Fairport, New York

New Hyde Park, New York

Southampton, New York

Southold, New York

Windsor, New York

Boone, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina

Belfield, North Dakota

Bucyrus, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Grove City, Ohio

Hilliard, Ohio

Lakewood, Ohio(2 reports)

Paulding, Ohio

Tipp City, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hood River, Oregon

Mill City, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Malvern, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Osceola, Pennsylvania

Port Matilda, Pennsylvania

Sayre, Pennsylvania

Smokerun, Pennsylvania

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Lebanon, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas

Montpelier, Vermont

Gloucester, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Bremerton, Washington

Concrete, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Mountlake Terrace, Washington

Ridgefield, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington(2 reports)

Stanwood, Washington

Twisp, Washington

Falling Waters, West Virginia

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Hartford, Wisconsin

Kewaskum, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

New Lisbon, Wisconsin

Porterfield, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 12, 2021, CWinPNW from Mountlake Terrace, WA wrote:

I have read enough of the comments to see that those who dont like it...REALLY dont like it. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I got a start from a friend 10 years ago who was taking it all out...they didnt like it anymore. I wanted some for the reason they didnt like fills in. I love it! It dies back in the winter and comes back fresh every spring. It has not spread farther than the area I put fact, I have tried to put in other places and it hasnt taken yet.

I have the variegated type and it looks so nice. If I see it overwhelming something, I just pull out some that is around that plant.

I think the difference is that I want it in my yard. If I was trying to get rid of, I might feel like those who have written negative comments,... read more


On Apr 24, 2021, CitySally from Cambridge, MA wrote:

I live in an urban area in Zone 6b. I have lived in my house for 22 years and there is a small patch of Bishop's Weed under a tree that has never expanded. I was thinking it would be good to put it under another tree in the yard, but there is so much hating about this plant! Does anyone have information about the conditions under which it becomes invasive? Clearly there are places where it behaves well.


On Jul 7, 2020, MsAndry from Lansing, MI wrote:

Bought a 1940s house in 2018 and these suckers are coming into our yard from under the deck and through both neighbors fences. Its impossible to get rid of and has strangled more than one clematis.
I have to admit, the variegated foliage is attractive, but please for the love of god, do not plant this


On Jun 5, 2019, spydarop from Oak Park, IL wrote:

This plant should be banned from sale in North America. It is destroying native habitats by the acre by destroying all native plants in its path. I am fighting a sprawling acre of this monstrosity at a property I purchased a year ago. The previous owner had been fighting it for years and thought he had eradicated it but this year it showed up in full force. The beds had many different rare and beautiful native plants, but is being steamrolled into large swaths of this one plant.

It does revert to its non-variegated form, it does set viable seed, it can have roots a couple yards deep. No, you cant keep it under control. Please, no excuses, stop growing this plant.


On Jun 29, 2018, PatrickNH from Barnstead, NH wrote:

Honestly I sometimes wonder why some people garden. Plants don't seem to me to be cause to get all that emotional.

As variegated plants go, this is one of the most attractive and bomb proof choices that you can find. Despite some claims, I have never seen this revert in over 45 years of gardening, not once. I don't think that I can say that about any other variegate out there.

Would you buy a Great Dane puppy if you lived in a studio apartment, and then blame the dog when it grew too big, because you didn't do your homework? Would you buy a compact car and then wonder why you couldn't use it to tow a fifth wheel trailer? Gardening too takes a little knowledge and research to be successful. Mistakes, failures and unexpected results are not the fault of the plan... read more


On May 29, 2017, Clint07 from Bethlehem, PA wrote:

I thought I'd cleared it out from a shady bed last year, but it came back this year as though I hadn't ever touched it. It's too successful


On May 15, 2017, P024008 from Lenox, MA wrote:

I live in MA and this plant has taken over countless acres of land. I live on 2 acres and the plant goes on for miles and miles in my neighborhood. It has destroyed any indigenous plants I may have once had in my woods and will absolutely take over anything In It's wake. Please do not plant or propagate this horrible ground cover.

The good news is that I have been in my home for 4 years now and I have been able to mostly eradicate it from parts of my yard but it takes years to do and it's near impossible when the whole town is overrun with the stuff.

Round up was only a temporary fix especially if it's been reseeding itself for years before you attack it. You'll kill the plant but the seeds in the ground will sprout right back unless you heavily mulch the ... read more


On Oct 16, 2015, prettydog from Monroe, WA wrote:

I live north of Seattle. I saw this plant and thought it was really pretty. I researched it, read all the negatives etc. But I had a space right next to the walkway and the side of the house where not much will grow. I gave it lots of thought based on the negatives I've read and then decided this plant would be perfect. I planted the variegated Bishops weed about three years ago.
I still love the plant but cannot for the life of me get it to grow thick and lush. I even went out and bought more plants last year. The slugs seems to like it too much so I put out beer and that helped a little bit. It also does not keep other weeds at bay. In fact this plant seems to be fighting for its life in my garden.


On May 15, 2015, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

I wish there was a triple negative. I inherited this vile ground cover with the house we bought. Rarely do I give a negative review but I simply detest this plant. We've been in this house for ten years now and EVERY year I have to dig up every single plant and pull this offensive, stubborn, stinky plant out from the roots of every one of my desired plants. It winds its insidious way into, around and deep into the center of the good plant and just when you think you've gotten rid of it, there it is again!!! Soooooo frustrating. I've used Round-Up by the gallon on it, as well as Weed-Begone. They die for the season but, like leukemia, it sits in remission under the ground and then bursts forth on steroids the following spring. It's roots crawl under 2-foot deep barriers and five-foo... read more


On Mar 13, 2015, Kjani from Gig Harbor, WA wrote:

I bought a house where the owner had planted 1 bishop's weed varigated. At first I thought it was lovely and it spread nicely around a pond. Then it spread further and further creating a dense mat of roots thick and unyielding...not a simple pull up to get rid of it...digging out huge mats of roots. Finally because it bounces back like a rubber ball and spreads even further seemingly to enjoy a heavy cut out prune like that...I have now covered everything with landscape fabric although it is now pushing peeking out from underneath where the concrete and the ground meet. Gotta roundup those and hopefully this will be the end of the nightmare. Honestly unless you can contain this you would not plant it. You will live to regret it. can be pretty to lo... read more


On Apr 18, 2014, Lauribob from Twisp, WA wrote:

I see this is one of those plants with a lot of haters. I have a lot of land so am not particularly concerned with it taking over. I've had it planted for several years in an area that borders my "wild" area. It also borders a mowed lawn, which keeps it from coming this way. So far it has been well behaved. It looks nice, displaces the weeds, and has not spread very much. In fact I wish it would spread a little more because it really lights up the shade! I'm in Zone 5 with hot summers and cold winters so maybe it just isn't a problem here?


On Feb 15, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Often called 'Snow-on-the-Mountain' this cultivar is horribly invasive, spreading into everything with its thin white roots. The green mother type often appears by a reversion and out competes its cultivar, being more invasive. It takes constant digging or hoeing attack all season long and even more to kill this goutweed off. Round-Up on new, young foliage might help. If trying to save any plant surrounded by goutweed, make sure to pull out any tiny white roots in the soil ball. Just a tiny piece will start a whole colony.


On Jan 28, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I've found this to be the nightmare spreader that many others have reported. Because it invades the crowns of treasured perennials, it's the weed most commonly spread from garden to garden by plant trades.

PLEASE, if you have this in your garden, warn the people you're trading plants with, if you're giving them divisions of other perennial plants from your garden. Hitchhiking roots can engulf a garden in three years. And many gardeners won't notice till after it's well established.

Because it can spread by seed as well as underground, this can't be contained by root barriers. The common variegated form often reverts to the plain green species. In some places I've seen many acres taken over by this weed.

It is possible to hand-dig small infestat... read more


On Nov 16, 2013, MaryArneson from Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Our house came (in 1976) with variegated Bishop's Weed in a garden along the north wall, where it coexists with a couple types of ferns and some lilies of the valley. Not much else will grow there. I like the way it looks, and the flowers are a nice addition to a bouquet, so it's welcome to stay.


On May 26, 2013, aet1169 from Goshen, IN wrote:

This plant came with our home, and while I would not purchase or purposely plant it anywhere now that I know of its invasiveness, I personally have had no problems with it, and have no plans to try to eradicate it. We have lived in this home for over 10 years, and if anything we have less goutweed than we had when we moved here, as quite a bit of it died off due (I'm guessing) to dry soil.

I am in northern Indiana, zone 5, with well drained, loose, dark soil. Shady yard.

It is located in several spots throughout the yard, in perennial borders. I have pulled some up on occasion and haven't had too much problem with it taking over. It hasn't killed any of my other plants--a wide variety of perennials and shrubs. It hasn't spread to the neighbor's yard, though I... read more


On Mar 1, 2013, KathyEdmonds wrote:

Bane of My Existence (was???)

This plant was in a large perennial bed of the house I bought a few years ago. It looked lovely, I thought, the first year. Turned out to be the worst nightmare that others have described with spreading and choking out all other plants around. Pulling it out didn't help, as THE ROOTS ARE ALWAYS THERE SOMEWHERE & THEY WILL GROW and I shy away from poisons. I ended up hiring a landscaper to come dig out the whole bed (plus a little extra around the perimeter) to a depth of approx 15 ". No plant life of any kind was left when they were done.

I saved as many of the desirable plants as I could (transferred to pots) and the ones that I could bare-root successfully, I re-planted in the new soil. Much more expensive route than I want... read more


On Aug 21, 2012, LVC1028 from Syracuse, NY wrote:

This is an awful, awful plant that will take everything over. I actually was able to quite easily eradicate a whole area by first cutting off the tops of the plants (weed eater, sheers, scissors) and 'painting' on a coating of full strength, undiluted, concentrated Round Up to the tops with a foam brush. This is the concentrated Round Up, not the ready to use type formula. By applying it to the freshly cuts tips, it soaked in to the roots very easily. It is nearly impossible to kill otherwise. The solid green does not spread as quickly as the verigated.


On May 28, 2012, digwell from Shelburne, NS (Zone 6a) wrote:

KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT !!! This plant is the cockroach of the gardening world, and should never, under any circumstance, be sold in gardening outlets. It have seen tracts of beautiful woodland taken over by this monster, with all trace of native wildflowers forever eradicated. I lost a stretch of beautiful border along a brook to this pernicious beast, and I almost cried as it swallowed a beautifully established bed of vinca, cimicifuga, and siberian iris. Those who are happy with it either live surrounded by concrete, or they have little else in their gardens that they care about. Be considerate of others, please and NEVER knowingly plant this thing. Petition all garden stores to stop selling it, too.


On Apr 27, 2012, IndyLandSteward from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

This groundcover has taken over ~6 acres of floodplain forest in Marott Park Nature Preserve in Indianapolis. At some point it had escaped cultivation from neighboring yards. It has taken over wildflower areas.


On Apr 5, 2012, hmm214 from Racine, WI wrote:

I liked the looks of this plant, but knew of its invasiveness. I got some of it a few years ago and use it exclusively as an accent in containers. It comes back every spring, I take out whatever new shoots I don't want, and add annuals to the container. It's one of the first things to come up in the spring, so my containers have something pretty in them long before it's safe to add annuals. Very pretty that way, and under control.


On Sep 5, 2011, Roxannabelle from 100 Mile House,
Canada wrote:

I live in the interior of British Columbia and have goutweed in a shady area. Today I was ripping some of it out as it's overgrown and choking my juniper bushes. Afterwards, my legs and arms were covered in rashes. I wasn't aware this plant did this, but from this site, it seems that many other have had similar reactions. I swabbed all exposed skin with Witch Hazel astringent and the rash calmed down considerably.


On Jun 16, 2011, Ithiel wrote:

I actually wish this stuff was more invasive than it is. I have a large shaded area in my front yard where not much will grow and it's been very slow to take off over the past year. We'll see how it does over the remainder of the growing season.


On May 31, 2011, MiniMoo from Romeo, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

Spent an entire week ~ several hours per day digging this out of a landscape bed.

I had mistakenly planted it about 3 years ago along the back edge of the bed.

This house is ours, but we are the landlords now and over the past 3 years, this plant has overtaken that bed ~ killed some creeping phlox and was choking the rhododendron! I was upset at the renter because I had specifically told her to keep an eye on it...but then I just became mad at myself...why would you trust a renter to listen and actually do what you asked?

It is a pretty plant in a controlled area, but don't let it go beyond that!!!

I've irradiated the all green version of this from the house we live in right now and it has not come back in over 2 years (knock on ... read more


On May 28, 2011, jenni_t from Hamilton, MI wrote:

I have searched online for an hour and I finally figured out what it was I was watching take over my flowerbed.

I received a number of hostas from a neighbor a year or two ago and now they are being overrun by this invasive plant that came along! Yes, it looks nice at first. I thought it was a good plant but it is slowly spreading and killing hostas in the process. Hopefully the tips I've read on here for how to eradicate it will work!

I can't believe it is for sale in nurseries and garden centers! Buyer beware! I plan to stick to native species from now on...


On May 28, 2011, Bazuhi from Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I know .. it's 2011... but I have planted this way back in 2001 under my bay window where the plant was surrounded by sidewalk so I was not to concerned about it getting out of hand. Over the years I have now taken plants from that area and added it to 2 other areas where so far it has not really been to hard to contain. 2 are total shade and one is where it gets sun from 1pm till dusk and this one seems to be growing much faster, taller and spreading better then the 2 shade ones. I really do like this plant, it adds color, grows where you know nothing else will due to the shade and dry soil which is where all mine are currently residing. I plan on taking sections of the sun one and moving them to one side of my driveway where it's all shade, it's 180ft long strip where nothing but Garlic ... read more


On May 14, 2011, canadianplant from thunder bay,
Canada (Zone 4b) wrote:

We moved into this house in 1989. The summer of 1990, there was this green and white plant that grew in the left side of my front yard. Its surrounded by Caragana, a cenemt path, stairs, and the portch foundation. Only today I decided to look up " snow on the mountain", and that lead me to here.

Also, about 10 years ago, we were givin done divisions of iris, and put it on the north side of the house, that had some of this in the clumps, which is almsot 100% shade.

Neither of these have spread in my area. Whether its by the way they are some what contained, or just the climate, in NW ontario, it doesnt seem to bad.

The pollinating insects love the flowers of this plant. IT hasnt choked out iris, bamboo, or bleeding heart, or the caragana (... read more


On May 11, 2011, cntryrocks from Princeton, KS wrote:

This stuff is an absolute nightmare. I planted a 3 inch pot last year, and it is well on it's way to taking over the entire bed. It just overtakes anything in it's path. I hate this stuff. I've been pulling it, and am getting ready to try roundup. I would not recommend this place except for an area where you are not trying to grow anything else, or perhaps underneath a tree. Maybe it would be great in a spot where nothing else will grow. It is way to happy in the bed on the northeast side of my house.


On May 2, 2011, Aegopodiumess from None,
Netherlands wrote:

When I moved into my current house about 8 years ago, the garden was overgrown with nearly waist-high weeds. I had to remove everything by hand, then till the entire yard under, re-landscape, etc. But every year, even though every other weed was gone, that dreaded ground elder kept coming back - popping up between stones, through mulch, through grass, around roots, choking out the 'good' plants.

I don't know if someone planted this at some point or if it just accidentally ended up in my yard, but it's impossible to get rid of. Please be considerate of any future tenants and don't plant this plant. It's virtually unkillable and causes 10 times the maintance a yard would need without it.


On Apr 30, 2011, Greytluv from Fairport, NY wrote:

RUN, DON'T Walk, away if you see this plant or it's non variegated variety at nurseries or big box stores. Too bad so many of them sell these plants to new or inexperienced gardeners without warning them.


On May 19, 2010, Lycorys from Lakewood, OH wrote:

Just to make a distinction - the variegated form of Aegopodium is far less invasive as the green species form. That said, it's still a noxious weed that is best left out of the garden.

I'm a professional gardener and I run across this plant all the time. Control can be very difficult, but with time it can be controlled.

Aegopodium laughs at Roundup. If you go with an herbicide I recommend using Ortho's Brush B Gone. Important note: Brush B Gone and other strong herbicides travel through the soil and remain there for a long time (45 days or longer depending on product). So keep this in mind if using - you're committing yourself to not planting anything in the area for a long while.

After a few sprayings I mow the tops off the plant with a lawnmo... read more


On May 15, 2010, nwh from Chicago, IL wrote:

I planted 4 of these plants several years ago in a dry, shady area under some large poplars. The soil is rocky and nothing grows there except hosta, after digging up the rocks and adding compost. I thought an invasive groundcover might be just the thing to cover a problem area about 25'x25'. The bishop's weed has survived but it really hasn't spread. I still only have the 4 plants I started with. I think it looks fine but I'm a little disappointed it didn't spread a bit more. It also goes dormant fairly early in the fall, leaving a bare patch. I'm going to try vinca next.


On May 13, 2010, Groundworker from Portland, OR wrote:

As a beginning gardener, when I first noticed the seemingly civilized variegated form of Aegopodium podagraria growing under my neighbor's fence to fill the narrow shady strip behind my house, I was pleased. Four years later, I just pulled out a gorgeous lacecap hydrangea and two huge (5+ feet) sword ferns lost to this AWFUL plant. Actually, my husband pulled them out - I couldn't watch.

The roots of this weed, which is now almost entirely reverted to its vigorous green form, insinuate themselves in and around those of any other plant within reach, making it impossible to eradicate without also removing "good" plants. In the shade along my fence, it grows to 2+ feet, smothering anything within reach and easily surviving our Oregon summer drought.

Once a rabid ... read more


On May 6, 2010, hoogie from Rock Hill, SC wrote:

I purchased and planted this after reading all the comments about it. I specifically wanted it after reading how invasive it was, because I wanted it to cover my backyard (where it seems only clover thrives...). It has been NOWHERE as invasive as I thought it would be. It has grown, but NOT spread, and really likes to stay moist. I am beginning to believe that my backyard is doomed to be ruled by the clover, sigh...


On Apr 30, 2010, amberamber from Paulding, OH wrote:

I just moved into a house that has two small plants growing by the patio. I haven't seen it anywhere else in the area. I'm assuming that our heavy clay soil is keeping it from spreading too much. I know that nobody has lived here in a while so nobody has been trying to get rid of it. I'm going to leave it be, nothing else seems to want to grow right there. It's shaded by the house and the privacy fence, and like I said, very hard clay soil. It's pretty, it's not spreading, I'm going to leave it alone.


On Apr 11, 2010, reb75 from Bloomfield Hills, MI wrote:

This is all over our yard in patches of the grass and all the beds. I think the previous owner (we moved in last year) had split plants and that is how it got to every bed. I believe this monster could grow on cement. I've tried weedkillers, the back breaking job of digging up all the dirt and throwing it out, but it just keeps going. If you miss a half inch of a thread it will grow. I removed all the plants from one of the beds and got all the roots out I could find --- they were actually attached to tree roots, and poured boiling water over the soil. I will continue to spray weed killers, but the boiling water so far doesnt seem to have hurt the root, only the leaf and stem. I hope it works, but I am not optimistic. Good luck, misery loves company and it did help to read others stories a... read more


On Nov 23, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Yes, it's a somewhat thuggish invasive. BUT, it is very useful as a groundover under trees. You can easily control the spread by mowing, and the bright sparkle is very pleasant.


On Oct 28, 2009, 2packerfans from Hartford, WI wrote:

my friend had some by her house.

i have been fairly successful in killing it.

i pulled out what i could (bare hands, glad i did not get a skin reaction, i did not know what it was, i just wanted it gone!)

i sprayed the stems and whatever was left with Ortho Weed B Gon, for chickweed, clover & oxalis, it also says for creeping charlie on the label.

then for the large planting areas, i put several layers of newspaper down and covered with mulch.

all new sprouts that came up, either in the grass outside the planting area, or too near to the plant for newspaper, got sprayed with the ortho stuff mentioned above. be careful not to get any on your good plants!

it seems to have worked for the most part, but... read more


On Aug 30, 2009, clairebear from Saint Louis, MO wrote:

This plant is just plain AWFUL!!!! It lives (and thrives!) in a park in St. Louis. For the last 8 seasons we have tried to get a handle on it. Repeated spraying of Roundup slows it down, but won't stop it. I am thinking that we may have to dig it all up before we plant a new garden. I heard of someone using a blow torch, it might not be the worst idea for it. Maybe if you had the luxury of 2 or 3 years and 10 or 15 sprayings of Roundup you'd eradicate it. I don't have that much time. Any other ideas out there?


On Jun 19, 2009, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

I have no personal experience with goutweed, but many people have told me their horror stories about trying to eradicate the beast. My parents battled it for years in their flowerbed, and finally bested it by relentlessly digging out every single little piece of root they could unearth. I am astonished that garden centres here still sell it!


On May 28, 2009, swmbo64 from Franklin, WI wrote:

Goutweed is considered an invasive non-native species in Wisconsin. And yet, I still see many Wisconsin garden centers continuing to sell it!

DO NOT BUY OR PLANT GOUTWEED. It may look pretty but it is invasive, extremely difficult to eradicate when established, and will naturalize easily and over time, will choke out native species such as trilliums, jack in the pulpit. If you live near a wooded area, be especially mindful of keeping this plant out of shady wooded areas. I have lost many plants to Goutweed.


On May 21, 2009, eibren from Camp Hill, PA wrote:

I had heard this plant could be somewhat invasive, but many around here seemed to have it at the side of their front entrance, so I purchased a small plant years ago and kept it in its container while I tried to decide what to do with it.

The opportunity finally arose when I noticed that the uncovered roots of our large silver maple were being damaged by the lawn mower. I partially encircled the maple with old stone from a barn being dismantled nearby and made shallow planting patches over the exposed roots. That left me with a bare spot on the shady side of the tree, facing our path to the back of the house. I literally placed the little plant between two large roots, and filled in the rest of the space between the roots with some loose soil I had saved from other garde... read more


On May 12, 2009, rubygloomrox from Red Wing, MN wrote:

There are ground covers and then there are ground covers. I consider my vinca a ground cover. Although they have been known to choke out a couple astilbe plants and perhaps a helleborus, for the most part they have a place where they stop. But with this bishop weed, it keeps going and going. I've put in a barrier, and I try to keep up with the seedlings. That's the best I can do. The root system spreads and spreads, whether in the full sun or some shade. It was here when I moved in and will probably be here long after the house is sold. It's a nightmare.


On Apr 29, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is a really nice looking plant...I really enjoy the way that it rapidly recovers from damage (raking, foot traffic, rabbits, deer, etc).

There are so many ground covers that have disappointed me over the years - it's really refreshing to finally obtain one that doesn't.


On Mar 23, 2009, kljflower from Tipp City, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have been fighting this plant for many years now - will never be able to get rid of it because the neighbor has it across the fence. I've considered pounding in a barrier down a foot into the ground but then it goes to seed also. I've given up on using the area for growing anything else and mow the stuff.
As others have mentioned, out of consideration for others, PLEASE don't plant this plant. I'll bet the folks who say they use it between other perennials are now sorry they did so, because the roots spread underground and go right for the base of other plants. You end up having to remove the "good plant" and wash every bit of dirt off of it and examine closely for root fragments. I wouldn't even use it as a woodland filler because it would choke out anything native. Anyone... read more


On Jun 18, 2008, jesup from Malvern, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Positive: covers the ground. Reasonably attractive. Pretty flowers (helps to cut them after flowering). Unkillable.

Negative: spreads like crazy in loose/sandy soil. Smothers other plants up to ~12" tall. Roots break off (especially in hard/firm/packed soil) and sprout, even a year or more later. Unkillable.

I went around hitting some coming up in my mulch paths with roundup, along with some poison ivy. The ivy is dead. The Goutweed lost a leaf or two.

In loose soil, you can pull/sift it out of soil by hand, with work, and with lots of coming back to catch parts you missed.

Possible biological control: groundhogs. They love it. They have downsides, though. :-/


On Jun 9, 2008, hamptonguy5 from Southampton, NY wrote:

I would first say thank you for the warning of potentital skin rashes because I do have Bishop's Weed on my property and I am always spreading clumps around the property. I have been spreading this tenacious plant for the 8 years that I have owned this house and I am very positive on this plant (variegatum) because I live on a half an acre that is very wooded with many deer in the area. This is a very good ground cover for naturalized woodland gardens and best of all the deer stay away from it. If you don't want invasive ground covers don't go with it, but that's what ground covers are supposed to do-cover the ground. And in a wooded area like I have it works well with Hostas and ferns.


On May 20, 2008, hunztiger from Shawnee Mission, KS wrote:

I planted this in an iris bed and love the combination. It comes up very early in the spring and fills in nicely. It hasn't been as difficult to control as I'd feared. It's tough, and I like the variegated leaves. You just have to keep an eye on it.


On Mar 14, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Mostly eliminated from my yard but small patches still remains - the largest being around the blvd garden when one hitchhike on a tawny daylily.


On Jun 11, 2007, Kerb from Watford,
United Kingdom wrote:

Ground elder came with our house when we bought it. (In the UK). It is rampant and completely takes over where it can, smothering my Bluebells and Pieris, and invading the lawn. Although I dig out the roots whenever the leaves appear, it seems to grow back with even more vigour the next time. The only solution, given to me by a friend, is apparently to carpet the area (seriously!), using old offcuts. You have to leave the carpet down for at least a year or two and it should die off. It will look ridiculous. And of course everything else in that bed will die off too, and if there are neighbours with Ground Elder it will come back - but I'm going to try it anyway!


On Jun 2, 2007, Dustysranch from Ottawa Lake, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This invasive plant was here when we moved in. After 3 years of fighting it, I think I've won!

Just by chance, I sprayed it with Roundup for poison ivy, as I was treating for poison ivy and that's what I happened to have in the sprayer at the time.

I used 2 applications, about a week apart. It's been about a month now and I've have none grow back.


On Apr 15, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

though it is invasive, if you want a fast spreading and beautifull ground cover that wont fail any whare. bishops weed is that plant. has wonderfull flowers in summer. after flowers fade cut the flower stalks back for a better looking ground cover.


On Jun 22, 2006, bubbab from Winnetka, IL wrote:

It is totally irresponsible for catalogs, nurseries, and landscapers to promote use of this horrible "groundcover". I have been fighting it for 12 years now, but it's a losing battle, since neighbors at 3 sides have it, and do nothing to control it. The only reason I don't have it on the 4th side is because the street is there! However, I'm fully expecting it to eventually show up 20 years from now, via underground stolons from a mile away. If one had an unlimited budget, I suppose you could hire a landscaper to remove every valued plant from the infected area, store them for 2 years while you Round-Up/plastic mulch, & install a submerged 3 foot depth steel barrier around the property. One little leftover rootlet would be enough to start it all up again, though. I HATE this plant: re... read more


On Jun 6, 2006, wendycm from Choteau, MT wrote:

2008 UPDATE - 3 years after digging it up as completely as we could, and 5+ years after first hitting it with herbicide, I STILL find sprigs of it poking up not only where it was originally, but in another bed 10 feet away and ACROSS A SIDEWALK. The stuff is awful!!

It's not as if there isn't enough warning about this thing, but I have such dislike for this plant that I had to weigh in. Add north-central Montana to the list of places where it can become a nightmare, at least in watered lawns and gardens. We have heavy clay soil, very dry air, and have been in a 6-year drought (though lawns are watered, of course, providing sustenance to the thing).

Our goutweed came with the house - had been variegated but had partly reverted to green, which is apparently eve... read more


On Apr 30, 2006, glogal from Gloucester, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I find this plant to be a refreshing color addition to my shade garden. When it begins to get too invasive, I paint the leaves of the plants overtaking the edge of the border with round-up. Using a one to two inch paint brush, I paint the round-up only where I want it to go. This allows me control of where the liquid migrates. The plant has been successfully kept at bay for ten years though I admit the area is fairly dry in the summer.


On Apr 28, 2006, fourfairies from Cooperstown, NY wrote:

This plant is a beast! I can't believe people would actually plant this monster. I have a beautiful peonie garden that is is invading. I have spent 4 years trying to get rid of it but do not want to move the peonies. Because I can't spray here, I've found aggressive weeding is the only thing that works. I am going to try the roundup method in another area where I would eventually like a perennial garden.


On Apr 22, 2006, LANMgarden from Los Alamos, NM wrote:

I LOVE this plant! It looks so cool and inviting in the summer with the varigated foliage. It's one of the few plants that actually survive under our huge maple tree - filling gaps between hostas, several hardy geraniums, meadow rue, campanulas, daylilies, akebia vine (trellis) and lady's mantle. It does very well in the dry shade of our high altitude area and only requires water maybe twice a week in the hottest part of summer. I've never had a problem with it overtaking any other plants except pansies but it does tend to spread (invade) rather well. I started with 4 plants ten years ago and they've spread probably 30 feet. I can definitely understand why other gardeners may not like it but in my case it is just fine. Kept in bounds by a garage on one side, a concrete wall and edgin... read more


On Apr 15, 2006, jaynemae from Craig, CO (Zone 4a) wrote:

As an inexperienced gardener, I planted this pest to fill in as a ground cover. (yikes!) The plants spread like wildfire and I am still trying to kill them off. The plant smothered out all of my desired and/or treasured additions. I have tried digging it out - it just comes back with vigor. Last fall I sprayed the entire bed with Round Up. This spring - there are still patches popping up. I will continue to spray until I feel it is gone. Then perhaps I can reconstruct a beautiful bed. BEWARE - this plant is a pest!


On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

So far this has not been a problem for me. It is in an area of poor soil, little water, a garage on one side, a high traffic path on another, and a rabbit runway where the rabbits can eat it as fast as it grows on another. It may change in the future, but as yet I get the pretty without the pain.

I have read that it is hardy in zones 3-10.

Blooms early to mid June in my garden.


On Jul 15, 2005, krowten from Greensburg, PA wrote:

My parents have both this and the green variety growing at their place. It apparently started about 20 years ago when friends donated plants. The green form seems to be significantly more invasive.

Make no mistakes, this is a serious pest for any climate that gets regular rainfail or moisture. Even if you think you have it contained, over a few years it will find a foothold in lots of places. It will escape and take over. This is a gradual, but relentless, process.

Several years ago, I took over the outside work, and started to wage a campaign against this weed. It is everywhere, and there are places in the lawn where it has destroyed all the grass.

This year, I have finally found a strategy that eradicates it from specific areas here, but... read more


On Jun 5, 2005, pirl from (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of the two most beautiful and most invasive weeds in the garden. You should be forced to sign a waiver when you buy it releasing the nursery from any responsibility for losing your mind trying to get rid of it. It's lovely looking in the shade but a plant that should be put in a cement lined pot and then planted, surrounded by more cement.


On Jun 4, 2005, kdjoergensen from Waxhaw (Charlotte), NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I wish my bishops weed would become as invasive as other gardeners report here. I can't wait for mine to spread.


On May 12, 2005, mainegrdner from Mariaville, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

ok, folks, I am a professional gardener in eastern maine. Though I would love to tell you that there is an easy fix to this intolerable, noxious, nasty, horrendous (and oh, so innocent looking) weed, so far, I have found nothing, except alot of patience and time on your knees pays off. I have a client that, when I took over the account 3 years ago, was infested with this--- I have turned the gardens on their heads, weeding the rootballs of the plants,( the root of this weed is easy to spot) and after 3 years of diligence, I am happy to report that I am winning the battle. If anyone wants to try this, here are a few tips.... keep in mind that aegopodium likes to grow in the top 4 inches of soil, so don't dig too deep when getting it out. you will undoubtedly miss a few rootlets, just dig th... read more


On Mar 28, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

On the plus side: This plant will grow in dry shade, even the sort of dry shade where little else will grow. It's fairly attractive.

On the minus side: invasive is too mild a term. Thuggish is more like it.


On Dec 28, 2004, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

I'm gonna go neutral on this plant. It certainly is beautiful, and it adds alot to a landscape. I can definitely see that it spreads, but so far it's been planted for 3 years and not caused a big problem.


On Nov 22, 2004, Equilibrium wrote:

Toughie to get rid of and it most definitely caused me to break out in a rash. I have severe allergies and did have areas of skin above where my gloves were that broke out. I had no idea what caused the break out the first time I tried to go after this plant. Now I know. I had to expose myself to this plant again when it resprouted after I had tried to dig up the area in which it had been growing. I got that horrible rash again. No where near as bad of a rash as what one would get from Wild Parsnip but bad enough to make one totally miserable. By the third time I went at it, I had made the connection that the Aegopodium was causing me to break out in a horrible rash. I lubed the area of my arms above where the gloves were with a product called "Oak-N_Ivy Tecnu". I went at the Aegopodiu... read more


On Oct 20, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

My garden came with the non-variegated form of this invasive pest. I have failed to eradicate it with hand pulling, multiple applications of Round-Up and competitive invasive plants. My best effort was in a bed I hit with Round-up repeatedly, killing everything vegetative, then mulched heavily. It still resprouts, but at somewhat controllable rates. It has spread everywhere in my garden and lawn where the soil has been disturbed. It will not grow in undisturbed hard-packed clay, however. Surprisingly, it does not grow in the woods where I cast uprooted plants. The sheer volume of biomass this plant produces are impressive. The flowers are pretty, and I try to pick every one to prevent spreading by seed--which is prolific and has a high germination rate in my beds. Sometimes seeds form on t... read more


On Oct 19, 2004, daleyla from Monterey, CA wrote:

I absolutely love this plant. My mother grows it beautifully and under control in Michigan. I took some from her garden to grow in my Monterey, CA garden in late July. So far it is doing pretty well. I had one plant turn brown so I cut it down about a month ago. It is now showing new shoots. It is also starting to spread. I plan to plant more along the sides of my house and backyard fence as a border.


On Jun 16, 2004, Dahlia_19401 from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Horribly invasive! I believe the previous owners of my home planted it. They had a lot of various groundcovers around the property, but his one is by far the worst!!!!!!! I've been trying to get rid if it for 3 years now with no success. If anything it keeps coming back stronger and more numerous!

I've read online that there is a vegetation killer called ARSENAL HERBICIDE that should be able to eradicate it. Is anyone familiar with this product? It is manufactured by BASF Corporation.
The chemical compound is:
2-(4,5-Dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl)-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid with 2-propanamine (1:1)

I'm not advertising this product and as of yet I'm not familiar with it. I'm just desperatly frustrated with the go... read more


On Jun 2, 2004, JKTURTLE from Warsaw, NY wrote:

(Rochester, NY)
NEGATIVE: I have also found it to be true that goutweed will re-establish itself from the smallest piece of the plant left behind. The plant is virtually impossibly to remove by pulling it by hand. I have found the underground shoots spreading at a depth 2 feet below ground surface. I am planning on trying the vinegar to kill it.

POSITIVE: I have only found mosses growing beneath goutweed once it has become established. A neat and tidy line is easily kept when goutweed is used as a bordering groundcover to a lawn...the repetative mowing keeps it from spreading into the lawn. I have not observed it spreading by seed, but vegetative propagation is easier than willows.

NEUTRAL: The straight species will overtake and crowd out the varieg... read more


On Jun 2, 2004, friar5 from Scituate, MA wrote:

This monster has taken over all my perenial beds and no matter what I've tried I can't get rid of it :( We have dug up entire beds in the fall poored tons of lime onto the soil and tarped them over all winter long, poored gasoline on them in the spring and actually set fire to them only to have the bishop weed come back again. It's now two years later and I have pretty much given up. It has just about taken over my entire garden. I will say that the variegated version is much prettier and seems to be less invasive (I think that's the only positive thing I can find to say about this species). If there is anyone out there who knows how to get rid of this pest, please post your findings. Thank you.


On May 12, 2004, ZaksGarden from Winston Salem, NC wrote:

Yes this little guy can be quite invasive, but I have him in a corner of my garden where it can roam free. You do have to keep your eye on it, and under control or it will spread throughout your garden. But for me as long as you keep it under control it is an okay groundcover with beautiful foliage.


On Oct 28, 2003, pancha from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:

I found this plant to be a beautiful answer to the erosion of a client's driveway. It must be regularly watered in Oklahoma (U.S.) to survive the summer heat. Growing only in shade and in moist soil, here it isn't a problem to get rid of. The lush brightness of the foliage does light up a dark and woody area. I can definitely understand how it could be a problem in areas with high moisture.


On Sep 13, 2003, phypoo wrote:

I can attest to the fact that goutweed can cause severe skin irritations and rash. I was thinning out my flower beds; the next day I had a severe rash on my neck and face. The second day, my arms were severely broken out with blistery bumps and areas that looked and felt like a severe burn. It has been very painful and looks terrible. It looks very similar to poison ivy; however, there was no poison ivy anywhere near where I was working. I won't touch the stuff again!


On Sep 5, 2003, spaniel from North Yarmouth, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

And again I will say the same: stay away! If not a gardener's, it is certainly a landscaper's nightmare!


On Sep 1, 2003, debi_z from Springfield, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I'm so surprised to hear this is invasive. I have it planted in two different areas - one in dappled shade, that has spread maybe a few inches in 2 years, and the other in morning sun and afternoon shade. It has spread about two feet in two years. I love the color and it is such a pretty groundcover, adding a nice bright spot to my gardens. I guess it truly does depend on where it is planted, or perhaps slugs like to nibble on the rhizomes?


On Aug 27, 2003, taramark from (Zone 4a) wrote:

The beauty of the flowers sparkling in the morning sunshine outweighs any negatives for me. My plants grow in semi-shade in a wooded area that would otherwise probably be covered with Burdocks! In this instance, I can just mow it off if it dare invade the grass. It just depends on the climate.


On Aug 26, 2003, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Positive with qualifications! I know it can be very invasive, but for me in the Pacific Northwest it is about the only plant that looks good by late summer in dry, dry shade. It is only spreading rather slowly for me in these conditions. It could be the extremely dry western summer climate that keeps it in check, as opposed to the humid eastern summers with more rain.


On Aug 25, 2003, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

I'm almost feeling sorry for the poor little Bishop's Weed! So much negative press. Here in Southcentral Alaska, it has been a nice addition in less that productive areas. It asks for little and really hasn't become aggressive. In one semi-shaded bed, it has fallen prey to an aggressive lamium and hasn't multiplied at all. In another bed with more shade, it has spread about a foot in 4 years. I think your climate will surely determine whether this is a pretty variegated plant for shadier areas, or a spreading monster!


On Aug 25, 2003, doglips wrote:

I am aware of the invasive nature of this beast. It is my impression that it 'spreads' underground as opposed to seeds. I'd like to know how deep the spreading roots are, as I plan on encasing my area with a type of flexible plastic border approximately four inches wide.


On Jun 4, 2003, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

Goutweed certainly deserves my kudos. Yes, it is invasive, if you let it ramble. But it is also a great groundcover and edging material. It requires little care and is not affected by pests. I interplant it with Daffodils so that when they are done flowering Goutweed overwhelms the otherwise unsightly leaf straps of Daffodils. I also blend the variegated Goutweed with Pachysandra to soften its monotonous appearance. I deadhead the flower stalks before they bloom to give the mound of foliage a tidy look. Initially I had some rust problems but by removing the affected leaves immediately before rain and wind can spread the spores I have completely eradicated rust. To prevent its rambling, plant it where it cant get away, say, between the driveway and sidewalk, or next to a lawn-mowing edge. ... read more


On Jun 3, 2003, SunshineSue from Mississauga, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

Not much to add to what everyone has said about this plant other than to say again how invasive this plant is. It's a shame because it's an attracive plant & can brighten up a darker area in the garden if only it was better behaved & knew it's place! Beware ....stay away from it or it will own your garden!!!


On Jun 3, 2003, clarejoan wrote:

Avoid this plant like the plague. Here in the UK if you are unlucky enough to have this plant in your garden it is considered a curse. We can't believe you guys actually PLANT IT ON PURPOSE - this is UTTER MADNESS!! Be warned. And YES, it does spread by seed too.


On May 31, 2003, diasue53 from Dayton, OH wrote:

I'm considering it to hold back the weeds from the woods, but if seeds are going to blow into my perennial bed, no way!


On May 27, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant "came with" my home purchase. The only way I was able to remove it completely was to take full chunks of soil about 6" deep, with the plant, and line it up on the driveway root side up for the summer, effectively drying everything! I would only recommend this plant be used in a completely restricted area (like a parking lot island).


On May 26, 2003, mdjewers wrote:

I don't know how this plant got into my garden. Now it is trying to take over my beds and the lawn! I have tried to smother it, and I have dug it out (but not well enough.) This year I plan to be more aggressive - elsewhere I learned to wait until the plant has grown foliage, then spray and pray. :)


On Feb 3, 2003, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Any fragment left behind when you pull/dig them up turns into a new plant. Will not tolerate a dry area, even in full shade.


On Jun 13, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

In my densely compacted clay soil, this plant hasn't spread an inch in 5 years. About the only thing tough enough to survive. In looser soil, impossible to eradicate: rhizomes sneak up to 2' from parent. Thoroughly strangle other perennials with the roots.


On Jun 11, 2002, sewwhat wrote:

Very invasive plant that is hard to get rid of once established. Has caused allergic contact dermatitis in various family members, with rash and itching very similar to poison ivy, poison oak.


On May 2, 2002, Lilith from Durham,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Also called 'Ground-elder' in the UK, creeping underground stems spring up, making a new plant at a distance from the original, and lead gardeners many a chase. Often a persistent weed, Ground-elder was formerly cultivated as a pot-herb and used to treat gout and arthritis.


On Jul 12, 2001, Briggs from Gillett, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Genus of about 5 species of ground covering perennials, with invasive rhizomes. The alternate, toothed, deep green leaves (4-8in long) have 3 ovate leaflets, margined and spashed creamy white. The many-rayed flat umbels of white flowers are borne on branching, hairless stems. Very invasive; plant either in containers or as a groundcover in poor soil in a shady site, where little else flourishes and where they cannot spread into other plants. May be cut back completely in summer to produce fresh growth. This grows to an indefinite width.
Deadhead before the flowers set seed.