Black Snakeroot

9 Jun

Black Snakeroot (Cimicifuga), deciduous, medicinal properties, arching growth to 2 feet in height with equal spread, branched spikes of bottlebrush-like, white, fragrant flowers late summer, sun to part shade, regular water, deer resistant, good cut flower.

Botanists recently combined this genus with Actaea, and in doing so, they lumped together plants of markedly different sizes and garden uses. The baneberries (Actaea) are small (under 2 1/2 ft. tall), with short clusters of flowers that turn into attractive but poisonous berries. The bugbanes (Cimicifuga) are considerably taller (up to 7 ft. in bloom), with long, spikelike flower clusters that ripen into dry seed capsules. Baneberries associate with smaller woodland plants, while bugbanes are stately back-of-the-border plants, looking most at home with a forest background. Both have shiny,much-divided leaves that give an overall airy effect. They grow best in rich, moist, well-drained soil and at least partial shade (can take more sun in cool-summer zones, provided they don’t dry out).

 

 

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