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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Q:Help with Actaea simplex and Buddleja davidii please
Hello, I recently ordered some really lovely plants from you, all of them are doing really well in my garden, but, I have just noticed that the Actaea simplex 'Pink Spike' is now not looking too good. Today I noticed that the 3 large leaves on the plant now have a brown crusty edging to them and they are no longer look very healthy, would you know why this may have happened? I have watered it the same as all of my other plants, so I'm very unsure why this has happened. Could it be overwatering, as the soil where it is planted is quite heavy? Any ideas? Also I've got a Buddleja davidii 'Royal Red', which is suffering from yellowing leaves, and falling off the plant. I don't think Buddlejas suffer from chlorosis, but could this be a result of overwatering too? If you can help me that would be fantastic and much appreciated, Kindest regards, NickAsked on 9/3/2009 by Gleaming Gem
A:Hello Nick, The Actaea likes a moist soil, so it is unlikely to be suffering from too much water unless it is really boggy. They are herbaceous perennials though, so it will be starting to die back now, and I suspect this is it,-simply a part of their normal life cycle. The leaves will continue to deteriorate in autumn and disappear altogether in winter. I have added some notes to your order about your concerns, so if the plant fails to put on lots of new, lush growth in spring then please get back to us and we will happily replace it. As for the Buddleja, they also start to lose their leaves at this time of the year, but although they can be watered freely in summer, they prefer a drier soils when not actively growing, so you should cut back now. I hope this helps. HelenAnswered on 9/4/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
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