Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Autumn Snakeroot, Black Cohosh, Bugbane
Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty'

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Actaea (ak-TEE-uh) (Info)
Species: simplex (SIM-plecks) (Info)
Cultivar: Hillside Black Beauty
Additional cultivar information: (Atropurpurea Group; aka Purpurea)

Synonym:Cimicifuga racemosa

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

18 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Unknown - Tell us

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

Unknown - Tell us

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:

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

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ShelbySnider240 On Dec 2, 2012, ShelbySnider240 from Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I grow the "Black Cohosh" in my shade garden in Roanoke, VA. It does very well and has beautiful blooms. A friend gave me mine and she said it grew wild in the woods near her.

Negative yumabase On Jul 5, 2012, yumabase from Youngstown, NY wrote:

I planted 6 black cohosh roots / bulbs this spring. Only 3 came up, and since May they have only grown to about 10 inches. The soil is good and there in mostly shade and moist. The P.H. Is just above 5.5, and I use a liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
I understand that there supposed to grow as much as 2 feet a month. Everything els growing in this garden is doing great.
What am I doing wrong?

Neutral 730chicagogirl On Jun 16, 2012, 730chicagogirl from Arlington Heights, IL wrote:

I LOVE this plant but I have had trouble with it. The first year, it was okay until Sept-Oct. Went out and the plant was totally gone....couldn't see a single stem. My neighbor actually suggested that someone took it. I just chalked it up. But the next spring, there it was, growing and looking good. Did well. This year, it started out strong, ...and again, overnight, parts of it are drooping, stems seem bent and broken, and leaves are dry and/or soggy. Had to cut away 50 percent of plant and am hoping it makes it. Help!
Tell me it's not chipmonks.

Positive bluespiral On Dec 1, 2006, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

In the Baltimore, Maryland area, this plant produces a lot of viable seed which has self-sowed in our garden. The offspring's leaves are not as dark purple as the parent, but, still, the leaves do have an interesting "smoky" tinge to the leaves. With its unique, sweet fragrance that carries far into the garden, this is a plant well worth winter sowing.

Positive nevadagdn On Apr 8, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant survived the winter, but it was a little slow to appear (well, slow by my impatient standards) this spring. It's up now. It was truly beautiful when I planted it last fall.

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

This new selection is even blacker than 'Brunette'. Otherwise, everything else about the plant is the same as for C. ramosa. More sun will keep the foliage darker. More moisture will make the plant reach 6 feet plus.

Positive levilyla On Dec 3, 2004, levilyla from Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

The foliage is absolutely beautiful .. no afternoon sun on it however...the flowers in September are intoxicatingly fragrant.


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

Wyanet, Illinois
Ellicott City, Maryland
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts
East Tawas, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Kalispell, Montana
Sparks, Nevada
Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Youngstown, New York
Boone, North Carolina
Chesterland, Ohio
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Roanoke, Virginia
Seattle, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin

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