Actaea racemosa

Black Cohosh

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Item #: 8147

Zones: 3a to 8b

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 60" tall

Culture: Part Sun to Light Shade

Origin: United States

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

(aka: Cimicifuga racemosa) We love the architectural garden value of this amazing woodland perennial! Actaea racemosa is an unusual member of the Ranunculus family (clematis, hellebore) that can be found natively in moist deciduous forests from Canada south to Alabama. In the garden, a compost-rich, moist soil is best since the plants will go dormant early during an extended drought. The basal rosette of cutleaf, deer-resistant foliage is topped in June (NC) with narrow, upright, 5' tall spikes of small white flowers...a mature clump is very impressive. Black cohosh has performed very well in our garden trials. Black cohosh is renowned for its medicinal properties, especially to treat "women's complaints."


In the garden, black cohosh is maintenance free, other than cutting back the dead foliage in fall/winter.

Growing Conditions:

The key for successful cultivation of black cohosh is correct siting and soil preparation. A moist, rich organic soil always yields the best results. While it's generally found in light, open shade, our trials with black cohosh in part sun (4-6 hours) have actually been quite successful, but the key is to provide adequate soil moisture.

Garden Value:

This upright-growing native is a superb structural element in the early summer garden. Both the foliage and the flowers provide fun textures to play off other bold textured plants in the woodland garden.

Natural Impacts:

Both bees and beetles are two of the primary pollinators, so it's a great perennial to bring in a diversity of pollinators to the the woodland garden.