Actaea racemosa

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, loam

Height: 3'-6'

Bloom Time: May, June, July, August

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: attracts butterflies, berries, clumping, colonizing, deer resistant, medicinal, naturalizing, shade garden plant, woodland plant

Flower of Actaea racemosa (black bugbane)
  • Flower of Actaea racemosa (black bugbane)
  • Flower of Actaea racemosa (black bugbane)
  • Flower of Actaea racemosa (black bugbane)
  • Foliage of Actaea racemosa (black bugbane)

Pricing & Availability


Some plants might not be available to you due to quarantine restrictions, or nursery limitations.

To make it easier for you to buy locally, we will sort the available nurseries based on their distance to your garden.


Actaea racemosa

Also known as:

black baneberry


black snakeroot


fairy candles


black cohosh

Scientific Synonyms:

Cimicifuga racemosa


Black baneberry is a large bush-like, shade perennial with attractive, deeply cut leaves. In summer, tall racemes reaching heights of 6 feet or more appear above the foliage. They are topped with long bottle brush-like clusters of fuzzy, white flowers.


Actaea racemosa is a striking woodland native that may be used as a focal point in a shade garden or to naturalize large, open shade areas. It likes moist, organic soil and will self seed under ideal conditions. Keep away from direct sun. Might require staking in exposed areas. Flowers last three weeks, and may bloom as early as May or as late as August, depending on their geographic location. Zones 5-7


Propagate by root division of mature plants, in spring or fall. May be propagated from seeds as soon as they ripen, but young plants can take up to 4 years to flower.

Additional Notes

The roots have been historically used in the treatment of ailments ranging from snakebite and lung inflammations, to the pains of child birth.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: IL, MA


Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Ranunculales
Family Ranunculaceae Buttercup family
Genus Actaea baneberry
Species Actaea racemosa black baneberry