Above: Goutweed by Agawa Path in Madison, Wisconsin (5/22/21).
Goutweed - Aegopodium podagraria L. (Ecologically Invasive)
Goutweed is an introduced plant that escaped gardens and is ecologically invasive. According to the Wisconsin DNR, the earliest reported naturalized population in Wisconsin was in the early 1970’s. It should be eradicated (if you can).
Goutweed has numerous flowers that are grouped together in an umbrella-shaped flowerhead known as a compound umbel (similar to Queen Anne's lace). The main umbel is further divided into several secondary umbels known as umbellets or umbellules. Each umbellet has 15 to 20 rays (pedicels) that are each topped with a single, small, five-petaled white flower.
Blooms: Springs and early summer.
Above: Goutweed along bike path behind Gregory Street in Madison, Wisconsin on June 22, 2022.
Other names: Gout-weed, Ground Elder, Bishop's Weed, Dog-elder, Snow-on-the-mountain (variegated cultivar).
Fun names people call this weed: Garden-plague, Jack jump-about, JTTKM (Just try to kill me), It won't die, Bishop’s Curse, I'm Back, Tenacious.
The eradicate Goutweed persistence is the key. You have to diligently hand-pull or dig-up plants, removing as much of the rhizomes as possible. If you leave any part of the white soft rhizome in the ground, it can generate a new plant.
For more information on Goutweed, visit Wikipedia.
Or, for information on Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria L.) visit the Wisconsin State Herbarium.
To eradicate (or try), visit the Wisconsin DNR website page on Goutweed.
Aegopodium podagraria L.
Above: Goutweed leaves along bike path behind Gregory Street in Madison, Wisconsin on June 22, 2022.
Above: Goutweed near Agawa Path in Madison, Wisconsin on June 22, 2022.
Above: Goutweed near Agawa Path in Madison, Wisconsin on June 24, 2022.
Above: Goutweed specimen collected in Cross Plains, Wisconsin in Dane County on July 21, 2005.
Above: 1913 Goutweed illustration.
Above: 1888 Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria L.) botanical illustration.
Above: Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria L.) illustration published in weed book circa 1934 shows just why Goutweed is so invasive.