Goutweed (Aegopodium)


Also called Bishopsweed, this is a perennial herb groundcover from Europe and Asia, spreading by underground rhizomes.  Forms lush carpets of 1′ tall green.  In summer puts up 3′ tall flower stalks of flat white clusters.

Many gardeners planted the variety with white variegated leaves; it will revert to green and become invasive in the wild.

Distinguish goutweed from poison ivy by its green leaves season-long (PI leaves start out reddish, then green, then turn color in fall), its upright flower stalks (PI flowers/berries hang in clusters under the leaves), and its green stems (PI’s are reddish).


Highly shade tolerant and though it will flower less in the shade, it will still spread rapidly by its underground rhizomes.  Crowds out native species.


Pulling and digging can control a new infestation, but do not put the material into yard waste!  incinerate with trash!  as the rhizomes in yard waste are one of the main ways the plant invades.

Links and Resources

For more information on how to identify and control Goutweed, please refer to the resources below:

  1. Mass Audubon for identification
  2. UMass Amherst for identification
  3. Invasive.org for identification and control