Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Astilbe biternata (Appalachian false goat's beard)
Brundage, Stephanie

Astilbe biternata

Astilbe biternata (Vent.) Britton

Appalachian False Goat's Beard, False Goatsbeard

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)


USDA Symbol: ASBI4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Appalachian false goat’s-beard is similar but much larger than the cultivated Astilbe flowers. This is a 2-6 ft. perennial with huge, white, feathery flower clusters and large, showy, fern-like leaves. Small, white or yellowish flowers in elongated clusters branching off a hairy stalk; clusters collectively form a large, much-branched, terminal cluster. The foliage is bright green and pinnately compound.

The species name refers to the double subdivision of the leaves. The flower masses of this southern plant are thought to resemble a goat's beard and are similar to those of true Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) of the rose family (Rosaceae), which has at least 15 stamens and 3-5 pistils per flower; it is found from Ontario and Quebec south to Georgia, west to Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, and north to Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin.


From the Image Gallery

12 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: GA , KY , MD , MS , NC , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: W. VA to w. KY, s. to GA
Native Habitat: Rich mt. woods; seepage slopes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, rich soil.


Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Astilbe biternata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Astilbe biternata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Astilbe biternata


Record Modified: 2022-11-23
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back