Actaea pachypoda #2 (Doll’s Eyes)May 19, 2020
Agastache x ‘Blue Fortune’ #1 (Anise Hyssop)May 19, 2020
Actaea racemosa #2 (Black Cohosh / Snakeroot)
-Moist to Average Soil
-5-6′ Tall x 2-4′ Wide
-Rounded Clump-Forming habit
-White flowers, June-August
Out of stock
Black Cohosh is a native perennial of moist woodlands with bushy green foliage. It is slow to establish but puts on a tremendous show of flowers once mature. The white flowers have a musky fragrance that is more appealing to its beetle pollinators than most people. Racemes that can be up to 24″ long shoot up between June and August, with each bloom lasting about a month and the inflorescence persisting for weeks thereafter. The fruit is an inconspicuous follicle that splits to disperse small seeds.
In a garden with dappled shade, even moisture and good soil, Black Cohosh can grow into a stunning specimen, or it can naturalize into a suitable site through its fibrous rhizomes and by seed. If allowed to dry out completely or exposed to too much sun, the foliage may go yellow. Deer and other mammals do not bother the foliage (it is in fact toxic) but the flowers provide both nectar and pollen for insects.
Black Cohosh has a long history of medicinal use, most notably for menstrual issues, for which it is prescribed in Europe*. Clinical trials are ongoing and as with any medicinal plant, proper research is necessary before any use.
Herbaceous Perennial Plants by Allan M. Armitage
*Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and James A. Duke
Growing and Propagating Wildflowers by William Cullina
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Missouri Botanical Garden
Mature Patch: David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Integrated Landscape: Fritzflohrreynolds, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Flower Detail: Cbaile19, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons