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Cimicifuga racemosa

Bugbane / syn. Actaea racemosa

Slender, upright form makes a vertical statement. Wands of tiny white flowers bloom over an extended period of time in mid to late summer attracting loads of butterflies. Despite the height it won’t need staking. Looks best planted in groups though, a single mature plant could be used as a specimen. Deep green foliage has great looking texture all season long. Effective in woodland gardens, cottage gardens and naturalized areas in shade or part shade with moist, well drained soil. 

Benefits

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.


Height
4-7 Feet

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Spread
2-4 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 5-9

Native Range

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

Distribution Maps by State and County

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.

The common name of bugbane is in reference to the odoriferous insect repellant properties of this plant.


"This tall beauty provides lots of pollen and nectar for my insect friends."

Good Companions
Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia), Hummingbird Summer Sweet (Clethra alnifolia)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Medium to Tall Perennials
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Shade
Soil
Humus-rich
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Moist
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Songbirds
Bloom Time
Late Summer
Summer
Critter Resistance
Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Native Habitat
Forest
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Accent
Border
Drought tolerant
Meadow
Naturalizes
Specimen
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Georgia
Illinois
Iowa
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia