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Actaea podocarpa is often confused with:
Actaea pachypoda Actaea pachypoda
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Monarda didyma Flowers
Phytolacca americana Phytolacca americana
Viola pedata Viola pedata

Bugbane Actaea podocarpa

Other plants called Bugbane:

Previously known as:

  • Cimicifuga americana
Phonetic Spelling
ak-TEE-uh poh-doh-KAR-puh
Description

Bugbane is a native wildflower found in moist woods in the Appalachian Mountains. It grows 3-8 feet tall with a 2-foot spread. The one-foot spikes of white bottle-brush flowers appear on 5-6 foot stems in the late summer into fall and have an odd odor to attract flys for pollination. The ferny foliage is attractive for the rest of the growing season. If the soil is allowed to dry out, the foliage can scorch.  It can be a slow plant to get established, can take up to 3 years.

It prefers moist rich soils in part to full shade. Plant in small groups in a woodland setting.  Protect from strong winds.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  The tall flower stalks may need to be staked.  

 

More information on Actaea.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#rabbit resistant#herb garden#NC native#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#native wildflower#wildflower garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#rabbit resistant#herb garden#NC native#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#native wildflower#wildflower garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    actaea
    Species:
    podocarpa
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North america
    Distribution:
    GA, IL, KY, NC, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Host to Celastrina neglecta major (Appalachian Azure). Deer and rabbit resistant.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Textural
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/3 inch long follicle has a short curved beak that splits open to release several seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Up to 1 ft tall slender racemes of tiny white flowers consisting of about 24 stamens, a single pistil, and no petals. The flower stems can grow to be 5-6' above the foliage. They have a strong foul odor that attracts flies for pollination. Individual flowers are 2/3 inch across. Blooms August to September.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Deep green, deeply cut foliage with 2-3 ternate leaves, each with 3 coarsely toothed leaflets that are 4 inches long and 3 inches across. The foliage has a ferny appearance.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Branched stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits