This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: partial shade
  • Soil: moist, fertile, humus-rich soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: September and October
  • Hardiness: fully hardy
    Formerly known as a Cimicifuga, this bugbane is a dramatic, stately perennial, with its slender, bottlebrush-like, pale pinkish-white flowers, which appear in September and October above clumps of lobed, purple-flushed leaves. The foliage colouring of these seed-raised plants will vary somewhat from plant to plant, but also external factors such as the time of the year and the available light will play a part. It’s also a useful plant because it comes into its own late in the season (when many flowers have finished), as well as being able to thrive in damp shade. It can get quite tall, so try it towards the back of a border, and avoid removing the faded flowerheads as they provide an interesting silhouette in the winter garden.
    In a recent article in the The Daily Telegraph, Dr James Compton (the man responsible for their classification), thought that this plant needed atmospheric moisture to thrive. ‘Think of trillium country’, he said, ‘on the acid side of neutral, light and leaf-mouldy but able to retain moisture’.
  • Garden care: Support using ring stakes well before the flowers appear. Lift and divide congested colonies in late autumn or early spring.

Actaea, Branched Bugbane, Black Snakeroot, Black Cohosh ‘Atropurpurea’



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown – Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Juneau, Alaska

Batavia, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Lakeville, Minnesota

Franklinville, New Jersey

Linville, North Carolina

Madison, Ohio

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

Lexington, Virginia

Oakton, Virginia

Monroe, Washington

Woods Creek, Washington

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