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Autumn Snakeroot, Black Cohosh, Bugbane
Actaea simplex

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Actaea (ak-TEE-uh) (Info)
Species: simplex (SIM-plecks) (Info)
Synonym:Cimicifuga simplex




36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 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)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Chicago, Illinois

Goshen, Kentucky

New Market, Maryland

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Westfield, Massachusetts

Howell, Michigan

Manchester, New Hampshire

Fremont, Ohio

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 13, 2014, Phyllostachys from New Market, MD wrote:

Others may have had different experiences but in Maryland for me this plant was slow to establish and needed regular applications of compost and regular careful watering as well as careful sighting to avoid sunburn. With all that said, fragrance is wonderful and the long spikes of white flowers elegant. Bumblebees enjoy it. It blooms for me in mid-September. Being a woodland plant, last winter's extraordinary cold appeared to have no effect on the dormant plant at all.


On Aug 24, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

This plant has to stay in full shade otherwise the leaves get singed by the sun. It's a beautiful plant and blooms in October/November when almost everything is dying down.


On Mar 25, 2002, singleyellowros from Kittanning, PA wrote:

Last one to flower. October frosts will nip the display in the bud. The wands of white flowers arch gracefully.