Black cohosh

Actaea racemosa

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
ak-TAY-ah rass-ih-MOE-sah
Synonyms:  Cimicifuga racemosa
Genus:  Actaea
Actaea racemosa is a native woodland perennial with white, somewhat fuzzy flowers in midsummer that wave above astilbe-like, deeply cut foliage. The flowers can be unpleasantly scented, thus the name "bugbane." Formerly in the genus Cimicifuga, this plant is great for use in a woodland garden or moist border.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Two-foot-tall racemes of white, bottlebrush flowers. Native to eastern North America.
Care:  Moist, fertile, organically rich soil in partial shade. Provide support if necessary.
Propagation:  Divide in spring, or sow seed as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Seeds will germinate the following spring.
Problems:  Relatively trouble-free, but can be affected by rust, tarnished plant bug, and other leaf-feeding insects.

Overview

Height
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Part Shade Only
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Native,
Showy Flowers
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
White Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Waterside
Style
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Perennials

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