Actaea simplex Atropurpurea Group
bugbane (syn. Cimicifuga)
Illuminate and fragrance late-autumn with slender branching stems of ivory-white flowers and, in a more-open position, the foliage will darken to black
- Position: partial shade
- Soil: moist, fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: September and October
- Flower colour: pale pinkish-white
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A dramatic, stately perennial, this produces slender, bottlebrush-like, pale pinkish-white flowers in September and October above clumps of three-lobed, brownish-purple leaves. Its a useful plant, both because it comes into its own late in the season, when many flowers have finished, and because it thrives in damp shade. Try it at the back of a border, between evergreens. Avoid removing the faded flowerheads since they provide an interesting silhouette in the winter garden.
In a recent article in the The Daily Telegraph, Dr James Compton - the man responsible for their classification - thought this plant needed atmospheric moisture to thrive. Think of trillium country, he said. On the acid side of neutral, light and leaf-mouldy but able to retain moisture.
- Garden care: Support using ring stakes well before the flowers appear. Lift and divide congested colonies in late autumn or early spring.
- Harmful if eaten/skin irritant
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