<i>Actaea racemosa</i><br>Bugbane
<i>Actaea racemosa</i><br>Bugbane

Actaea racemosa

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 Butterfly Friendly Deer Resistant ShadeBird Friendly
Actaea racemosa aka Cimicifuga racemosa

Slender, upright form makes a vertical statement. Wands of tiny white flowers bloom over an extended period of time in mid to late summer attracting loads of butterflies. Despite the height it won’t need staking. Looks best planted in groups though, a single mature plant could be used as a specimen. Deep green foliage has great looking texture all season long. Effective in woodland gardens, cottage gardens and naturalized areas in shade or part shade with moist, well-drained soil. 

  • Excellent nectar and pollen source for beneficial insects
  • Host plant for Appalachian blue and spring azure butterfly
  • Blooms in shade 4+ weeks
  • Will grow in dry shade under hardwood trees
  • Long-lived, tough perennial that's easy-to-grow

Native Range

Rich woods; Massachusetts to Indiana south to Missouri and Georgia.

Distribution Maps by State and County


Interesting Facts


Nectar lures pollinating insects. Pollinators such as butterflies brush against reproductive parts of plants moving pollen from one flower to another. This crucial act results in fertilization and seed set assuring food for birds and insects and future generations of plants.

The common name of bugbane is in reference to the odoriferous insect repellant properties of this plant.




Plant in a shaded area. Bugbane is long-lived but may take a couple of years to get established and reach full size. While the plant is very drought tolerant, provide some additional water to keep it looking its best.


Mature Size: 4-7ft. Tall x 2-4ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Full Shade

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