Actaea simplex Atropurpurea Group

bugbane (syn. Cimicifuga)

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9cm pot £12.99
available to order from spring
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Actaea simplex Atropurpurea Group bugbane (syn. Cimicifuga): Elegant spikes late in the year

This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: partial shade
  • Soil: moist, fertile, humus-rich soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: September to October
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    Formerly known as a Cimicifuga, this bugbane is a dramatic, stately perennial, with its slender, bottlebrush-like, pale pinkish-white flowers, which appear in September and October above clumps of lobed, purple-flushed leaves. The foliage colouring of these seed-raised plants will vary somewhat from plant to plant, but also external factors such as the time of the year and the available light will play a part. It's also a useful plant because it comes into its own late in the season (when many flowers have finished), as well as being able to thrive in damp shade. It can get quite tall, so try it towards the back of a border, and avoid removing the faded flowerheads as 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 that 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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Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread

Notes on Actaea simplex Atropurpurea Group

"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"

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Beautiful ethereal plant


Planted, watered and left. Suddenly it was there growing

The Doctor



Delicate Actae


Doing well and certainly spreading. So good for cor.

Lizzie tripe.

East sussex


Fabulous and the bees love it


We bought this for a semi-shady border and with the idea of attracting wildlife. These plants with their beautiful white bottlebrush flowers are truly stunning. A major plus for us is that the bees go made for the flowers - plants were practically humming out loud with them! Also, living in the North of England we can attest that these plants are truly hardy having survived minus temperatures throughout the winter.


Northern England


Actaea simplex Atropurpurea Group

5.0 3


Hi, Could you tell me what variety this is please? Is it 'brunette'?


Hello there No this isn't a named variety. Actaea simplex ('Atropurpurea Group) 'Brunette' is similar but not the same.

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, Nick

Gleaming Gem

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. Helen

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