Actaea, Branched Bugbane, Black Snakeroot, Black Cohosh 'Pink Spike'

Actaea simplex

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



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Peoria, Illinois

Grand Haven, Michigan

Kalispell, Montana

Lexington, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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 !


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.


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'.