Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Branched Bugbane, Black Snakeroot, Black Cohosh
Actaea simplex 'Pink Spike'

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

Synonym:Actaea racemosa
Synonym:Cimicifuga racemosa

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

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 sanannie
Thumbnail #1 of Actaea simplex by sanannie

By mslehv
Thumbnail #2 of Actaea simplex by mslehv

By mslehv
Thumbnail #3 of Actaea simplex by mslehv


3 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive patriben On Sep 7, 2011, patriben from Boxford, MA wrote:

I've had the white form of this plant for several years, and it produces lovely spikes each September. However, it's in a full shade spot and tends to lean towards the light, so I plan to move it to a brighter spot. I love the September interest that it provides in my shade garden.

Positive enidrena On Jun 11, 2011, enidrena from salt spring island
Canada wrote:

Five plants were given me late last summer, and were placed in mildly alkaline soil in various shaded parts of the garden.
They were a joy to behold in the autumn, and the perfume was incredibly sweet and strong., filling the whole garden..
They have all returned this summer, sturdy,and twice the size ..Their dark foliage is a stunning contrast to the green Hosta leaves.They also lend continuance to a late-summer garden and do well in south western British Columbia
l'm looking forward to dividing them and having twice as many next year !

Negative mslehv On Feb 27, 2011, mslehv from Columbus, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I planted several of these in Spring, 2009. The plants bloomed in the beginning of October just as the leaves were starting to curl and dry up. The following year, buds appearing in late September but no blooms appeared.

The first year blooms were just barely pink although they were attractive with maroon buds.

I'm not sure why I am not having success with the plants. They are in a garden that's mostly shaded with some periods of bright sun and is fairly moist.

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

This new selection is a light pink to rose-pink flowered version of 'Brunette'. The contrast between foliage and flowers is very pleasing. The plants overall habits are the same as 'Atropurpurea' or 'Brunette'.


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

Peoria, Illinois
Grand Haven, Michigan
Kalispell, Montana
Lexington, Virginia
Kalama, Washington

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