Vigorous, rhizomatous perennial groundcover; variegated variety is a common ornamental plant.
OverviewOther 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.
- Aggressively invades forests, forest edges, fields, pastures, plantings, disturbed areas.
- Planted and naturalized statewide.
- 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.
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.
- 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 minimum of one growing season.
- Use a systemic herbicide, such as glyphosate.
View bishop's goutweed pictures in our photo gallery!
ResourcesSources for content:
- Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
- Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group