Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Branched Bugbane, Black Snakeroot, Black Cohosh
Actaea racemosa 'Atropurpurea'

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Actaea (ak-TEE-uh) (Info)
Species: racemosa (ray-see-MO-suh) (Info)
Cultivar: Atropurpurea

Synonym:Cimicifuga racemosa

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are good for cutting

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #1 of Actaea racemosa by Todd_Boland

By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #2 of Actaea racemosa by Equilibrium

By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #3 of Actaea racemosa by Equilibrium

By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #4 of Actaea racemosa by Equilibrium

By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #5 of Actaea racemosa by Equilibrium

By sdagutis
Thumbnail #6 of Actaea racemosa by sdagutis

By kniphofia
Thumbnail #7 of Actaea racemosa by kniphofia

There are a total of 11 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive KMcGregor On Sep 20, 2010, KMcGregor from Monroe, WA wrote:

Have enjoyed this plant in our garden for more than 20 years. It makes a strong statement, the clump expands slowly, and the honeybees love it. One of the most fragrant plants in our garden.

Positive SW_gardener On Mar 10, 2006, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have mine in part shade and it does very well there. It doesn't grow tall if it isn't given enoungh water. More water means a bigger, better , taller plant.

Positive Todd_Boland On Dec 11, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

A very bold plant for the garden. If kept reasonably moist and fertilized, it will reach 8 feet. Very fragrant with bottle-brush flowers. This was the first of the 'purple-leaved' selections. If sunny, it is reasonably dark foliaged although newer cultivars are much darker. Excellent plant for the back of the border. The wild species is native to Japan. Unlike the American species of bugbane, this one has a branched flower stem.


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

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