Cimicifuga ramosa close up of flower ©Anovva- stock.adobe.com
©Anovva- stock.adobe.com

Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 36″ to 60″
Spread: 30″
Bloom Time: Late summer to fall

At 3 feet tall, or 5 feet when in bloom, with lacy foliage, Cimicifuga will provide drama and the wow factor to the late summer shady garden.

As an added bonus, the flower spires are fragrant and the plant is deer resistant.

Grow it in moist acidic soil in dappled shade.

The seedheads are interesting in the winter so wait until spring to cut the stems back.

A clump of Actaea simplex growing in the shade ©PIXATERRA - stock.adobe.com
©PIXATERRA – stock.adobe.com

It makes a great specimen plant, or it can be planted in groups.

It takes a year for this plant to get established but once that happens it does not need dividing.

Note: The Cimicifuga plant family has recently been re-classified to the Actaea genus which is why there are so many variations of its name.

My Favorite Varieties

There are 3 varieties that have caught my attention:

A. racemosa ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ (Zone 4 – 8): Also known as Black snake root, Black bugbane, this plant has fragrant white spires in late summer and black/purple lacy leaves.  Stunning, and definitely will be in my garden this spring! Get it HERE.*

A. racemosa ‘Chocoholic’ (Zone 4 – 8): Purple bronze leaves with white bottlebrush blooms that are fragrant and easy to grow. Find it HERE.*

A. racemosa ‘Pink Spike’ (Zone 4 – 8): Sweet-scented pink spires contrast with bronze-purple foliage. Very eye catching! Buy it HERE.*