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Aegopodium, Bishop's Weed (or Do You Say Ground "Ash?")

August 21, 2002

This plant goes by many names, including the above. You might also see it listed as ashweed and herb gerard, but the genus name of Aegopodium is most exact. This low, perennial ground cover is widely used in Illinois gardens because it grows well in shade, quickly covering the ground.

We have had some complaints at the Plant Clinic about this plant. The foliage is spotted and blighted with brown edges and scattered spots. The normally lush plant is thinned and looks weak. Samples that we have received are not infected with a disease. The symptoms described are caused by weather scorch. The variegated form that seems to be most widely used is sensitive to scorch in sunny locations. This injury is most common in a period of very hot weather following a time of lush growth--just the weather that much of Illinois has had of late and usually experiences each summer.

This plant is best maintained with periodic mowing throughout the growing season, whenever the foliage looks poorly. Mowing encourages new growth and helps keep plants dense. Don't mow low enough to injure the crowns, or the plants die.

Author: Nancy Pataky


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