Invasive Species -


Goutweed/Bishop's Weed
(Aegopodium podagraria L.)

Photos & Description courtesy of IPANE

Where it's from

Europe and northern Asia


What Goutweed / Bishop's Weed does to the habitat

Grows so densely that it crowds out native plants. Doesn’t need light to grow, as colonies can continue to grow and expand with underground stems.


At one time it was used as a treatment for gout.



  1. Cover the area with black plastic in early spring will do the trick. Leave it for a couple months and you’ve done your job.
  2. You can dig up small areas, but be sure to get all the rhizomes. If you don’t, new plants will sprout up.
  3. Mowing frequently also does the job. Especially if you end with a layer of mulch.
  4. Spray systemic herbicide like Round up on the plants if it is a particularly large infestation.


Common Name

Full Scientific Name

Bishop's weed
Aegopodium podagraria L.

Family Name Common

Family Scientific Name

Carrot family Aegopodium podagraria



Botanical Glossary

Aegopodium podagraria is a creeping, herbaceous perennial that can grow to be 40 cm-1 m (15.7-39.4 in.) tall. The basal and lower leaves have long petioles. There are usually 9 leaflets per lower leaf, although this can vary. Each leaflet is ovate with an acute or acuminate apex. The bases of these leaflets can be rounded or cordate. The lower leaflets are 3-8 cm (1-3 in.) long and have a serrate margin. The upper leaflets are similar to the lower leaflets, but are smaller and ternate in their arrangement, and have shorter petioles. The horticultural variety usually grown (Aegopodium podagraria var. variegatum) has white margins on its leaves. The white flowers are arranged in umbels that are 6-12 cm (2.25-4.75 in.) in diameter. Each umbel is borne on a long peduncle, and has 15-25 rays that are about 2.5 cm (1 in.) or more in length. The flowers of Aegopodium podagraria appear in June. The brown fruits oblong-ovoid, laterally flattened and 3-4 mm (0.12-0.16 in.) long. Page References Bailey 754, Fernald 1097, Gleason & Cronquist 371, Holmgren 347, Magee & Ahles 797.

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