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Bishop's goutweed

Bishop's goutweed
(Aegopodium podagraria)

Vigorous, rhizomatous perennial groundcover; variegated variety is a common ornamental plant.

Overview

Regulated areas of Bishop's goutweed
This species is Restricted (Orange counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Goutwort, Snow-on-the-mountain (variegated cultivar), Herb-Gerard, Wild or English Masterwort, Ax-ashe weed, Aise-weed, Dwarf weed, Bishop’s weed, White-ash-herb, Garden-plague, Dog-elder, Ground-elder, Jackjump-about
  • Scientific names: None

Ecological threat:

  • Aggressively invades forests, forest edges, fields, pastures, plantings, disturbed areas.
  • Planted and naturalized state-wide.
  • Outcompetes native herbaceous layer, forming dense patches.
  • Reduces tree seedling germination and inhibits establishment.
  • Recognized as an invasive across much of the United States.
  • Perennial and shade-tolerant, this plant spreads vigorously through rhizomes.

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for Bishop's goutweed was based upon this literature review developed by the department.

Identification

Leaves & stems: Leaves are divided into three groups of three leaflets. Leaflets are ovate with broad bases or cordate (heart-shaped), with serrated margins. Most leaves are basal. Variegated varieties are common.

Flowers: Flowers are white, flat-topped umbels. Flowering stems reach up to three feet tall.

Fruits & seeds: Long slender seeds resemble carrot seeds.

Roots: Roots are long, white, extensive branching rhizomes.

 

Distribution

Aegopodium podagraria
Counties in WI where Bishop's goutweed has been reported (as of July 2013). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Do you have Bishop's goutweed in your county but it isn't shaded on the map? Send us a report.

Control

Mechanical:

  • Diligently hand-pull or dig-up plants, removing as much of the rhizomes as possible. Bag and dispose of all plant debris as plant fragments readily resprout.
  • Cutting and mowing may slow the plants from invading new areas.
  • Cover the infestation with black landscape fabric/plastic in early spring, when leaves emerge. Keep covered for a minimal of one growing season.

Chemical:

  • Use a systemic herbicide, such as glyphosate.

Photos

View Bishop's goutweed pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

Sources for Content:

  • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health; invasive.org
  • Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group

Links for More Information:

Last revised: Friday May 31 2019