Aegopodium podagraria - L.
Bishop's Goutweed
Other Common Names: bishop's goutweed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Aegopodium podagraria L. (TSN 29567)
French Common Names: égopode podagraire
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.141589
Element Code: PDAPI01010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Carrot Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Apiales Apiaceae Aegopodium
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Aegopodium podagraria
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (21Sep2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Georgia (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Missouri (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, GAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KYexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, NCexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic
Canada BCexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Aegopodium podagraria is a rhizomatous perennial herb most densely established in the Northeast and Northwest regions of the United States. It is widely sold horticulturally, as a ground cover. Although the species can reproduce by seed, this method of reproduction is relatively unimportant, as the seeds have no obvious dispersal mechanism and require disturbed, open conditions to establish. When reproducing vegetatively, however, the species can spread into closed-canopy forests, where it can form dense mats that exclude other vegetation and inhibit regeneration of tree species. Colonies can also be established by discarded rhizomes in yard waste. Management can be difficult, as colonies can regenerate from rhizome fragments, and only specific herbicides deployed at specific times have an impact.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 20Jun2006
Evaluator: Fellows, M., rev. K. Gravuer
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Eurasia (Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Mehrhoff 2003).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: (Gleason and Cronquist 1991; Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: (Voss 1985; Mehrhoff 2003).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Despite being well-established in the United States since at least the mid-1800s (Mehrhoff et al. 2003, Garske and Schimpf 2005), no no reports of impacts on ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters were found. Therefore, assume impacts are relatively insignificant.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Can form dense patches in woodland areas, which change the density/cover of the forest understory and inhibit the establishment of native tree species (Garske and Schimpf 2005).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Moderate significance
Comments: Can crowd out native species where established (Fewless 2003). Has been found to greatly reduce species diversity in the ground layer (Garske and Schimpf 2005).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No mention of disproportionate impacts on particular native species found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not significant.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: Invades moist wooded areas (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: Not a problem in WI (Fewless 2003). Recently banned in VT, made invasive list in WY & potentially invasive list in CT.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Moderate significance
Comments: Most likely under 50% of ecoregions - inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Prefers moist, partly shaded places, including forest edges and forest/woodlands (both coniferous and deciduous). Also found in a variety of open, disturbed habitats (e.g. agricultural fields, pastures, roadsides, yards and gardens) and in more natural grasslands (Voss 1985, Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Kartesz 1999, Fewless 2003, Mehrhoff 2003, Garske and Schimpf 2005).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Still widely sold as a ground cover and frequently escapes from plantings (Whitinger 2006). Apparently spreading in Wisconsin (IPAW 2003).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Inferred from (Kartesz 1999; TNC 2001). Can apparently occupy USDA hardiness zones 3a - 9a, but does not thrive in drought-prone areas (Whitinger 2006).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Widely grown for foliage or ground cover (Voss 1985).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Readily escapes (Voss 1985) and is known to be spreading in at least Wisconsin (IPAW 2003).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Seedlings require recently disturbed soil and relatively bright light in order to establish (Garske and Schimpf 2005). However, vegetative reproduction is the main means of spread for this species, and it is capable of invading closed-canopy forests via vegetative spread (Garske and Schimpf 2005). Vegetative spread usually occurs from intentional plantings or established colonies in more disturbed sites, but can also result from the dumping of yard waste that includes discarded rhizomes (Garske and Schimpf 2005). In New England, this species is found almost exclusively in disturbed areas (Mehrhoff 2003). It is viewed by some authors as a species that persists but rarely invades on its own (Voss 1985; Fewless 2003).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Also established in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan (Kartesz 1999, Randall 2002), where it appears to invade similar habitats (Scoggan 1978, Webb et al. 1988).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: The main method of reproduction is by extension of the rhizome system, and the species can also establish new colonies from discarded rhizomes (e.g. in lawn waste) (Voss 1985, Mehrhoff 2003, Garske and Schimpf 2005). Some seeds are also produced (Voss 1985; Mehrhoff 2003). Resprouts from roots (Fewless 2003).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: Difficult to eradicate once established (Fewless 2003). Hand pulling or digging up can be counterproductive because it can stimulate remaining stolons to grow (Mehrhoff 2003). Glyphosate can also be used for control, but older leaves are resistant (Fewless 2003); contact herbidcides are ineffective (Garske and Schimpf 2005).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Will need to repeat treatment as mature leaves are resistant to herbicides, and underground rhizomes will resprout if not removed (Fewless 2003). However, the species does not appear to have a long-lived seed bank (Garske and Schimpf 2005).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Inferred from Fewless (2003) - removal of underground stems often causes soil disturbance which can harm native species and/or open up habitat for other non-native species.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance
Comments: Many populations appear to be located in easily accessible disturbed environments (e.g. roadsides) (Mehrhoff et al. 2003). However, because of the horticultural importance of this species, it is also likely that some populations are located on private land.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Cody, W.J. 1988. Plants of Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba. Agriculture Canada, Publication 1818/E, Ottawa ON.

  • Douglas, G.W., G.D. Straley, and D. Meidinger, eds. 1998b. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Vol. 1, Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons (Aceraceae through Asteraceae). B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Wildl. Branch, and B.C. Minist. For. Res. Program. 436pp.

  • Fewless, G. 2003. Invasive Plants of Northeastern Wisconsin. ONLINE. Available: (Accessed 2004).

  • Garske, S. and D. Schimpf. 2005. Fact Sheet: Goutweed. Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group. Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas. Online. Available: (Accessed 2006).

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Herbarium, Department of Botany, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

  • Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (IPAW). 2003. IPAW working list of the invasive plants of Wisconsin: a call for comments and information. Plants Out of Place, Issue 4. Online. Available: (accessed 2006).

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Mehrhoff, L.J., J.A. Silander, Jr., S.A. Leicht and E. Mosher. 2003. IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Online. Available:

  • Randall, R.P. 2002. A global compendium of weeds. R.G. and F.J. Richardson, Melbourne. 905 pp.

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978-1979. The flora of Canada: Parts 1-4. National Museums Canada, Ottawa. 1711 pp.

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978. The Flora of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museum of Canada, Publ. in Botany 7(4).

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Thunder Bay Field Naturalists. 2015. Checklist of Vascular Plants of Thunder Bay District. Thunder Bay Field Naturalists, Thunder Bay, Ontario.

  • Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicotyledons. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1212 pp.

  • Webb, C.J., W. R. Sykes, and P. J. Garnock-Jones. 1988. Flora of New Zealand volume 4: Naturalised Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons. Botany Division, D.S.I.R. Christchurch, New Zealand.

  • Whitinger, D. 2006. Dave's Garden: PlantFiles. Online. Available: (Accessed 2006)

  • Wisconsin State Herbarium. 2006. Wisconsin state herbarium vascular plant species database. Available: (Accessed 2006).

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