Actaea racemosa (syn. Cimicifuga racemosa)
Scientific Name Pronounciation:
Plant Hardiness Zones:
Plant Hardiness Zone(s):
Bloom Time Notes:
Sun or Shade:
Actaea racemosa (black cohosh) is a woodland plant, 3 to 8 feet tall, with compound toothed leaves and tall, showy spikes of white flowers that canrise up to 6 feet above the foliage. The blooms occur in early to mid-summer and are visited by bees and butterflies, as well as numerous moths, which are attracted to its tall white candle-like blooms at night. Black cohosh’s leaves are the larval food source for Appalachian azure and spring azure butterflies. The deep green and tripinnately divided leaves are fern-like and attractive even without their flowers. Black cohosh was used by Native Americans to repel biting insects, giving rise to another of its common names, bugbane. Its native habitat is rocky woods. It grows best in full to partial shade--as long as it gets a couple of hours of morning light, and prefers well-drained soils that are rich in humus and kept moist.