Cimicifuga racemosa – Bugbane / syn. Actaea racemosa

Published on May 13, 2012 by Casey

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Cimicifuga racemosa
Cimicifuga racemosa

A stately plant with airy spikes of ivory-white flowers in summer. Though it can reach 4 to 7 feet tall, it does not need staking.

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  • Excellent nectar and pollen source for beneficial insects
  • Host plant for Appalachian blue and spring azure butterfly
  • Blooms in shade 4+ weeks
  • Will grow in dry shade under hardwood trees
  • Long-lived, tough perennial that’s easy-to-grow

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

  • Plant in a shaded area.
  • Bugbane is long lived but may take a couple of years to get established and reach full size.
  • While the plant is very drought tolerant, provide some additional water to keep it looking its best.

Native Range

Rich woods; Massachusetts to Indiana south to Missouri and Georgia.

Native Trivia

Nectar lures pollinating insects. Pollinators such as butterflies brush against reproductive parts of plants moving pollen from one flower to another. This crucial act results in fertilization and seed set assuring food for birds and insects and future generations of plants.

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
• Medium to Tall Perennials

• Shade

• Humus-rich

Soil Moisture Preference
• Moist
Attracts Wildlife
• Beneficial insects
• Butterflies
• Songbirds

Bloom Time
• Late Summer
• Summer

Habitat Collection
• Butterfly
• Dry Shade

Native Habitat
• Forest
• Drought tolerant

Source: abnativeplants Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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