Actaea japonica

Japanese Bugbane

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Japanese bugbane is, in fact, native to woods and forest margins in China and Korea as well. The leaves often emerge purple in the spring, maturing to green. Then in late summer come the spires of bloom reaching up to 5-feet high, with pink buds opening into fragrant white flowers.

There are over 35 different species of bugbane or Actaea, spanning Europe, Asia, and North America. They're generally woodland plants, happiest in dappled shade and cool,  moist soil. Most form mounds of toothed leaves and then in mid-summer send up spikes of tightly packed flowers, often followed by conspicuous berries. NOTE: Berries are poisonous to people and rabbits; harmless to birds and butterflies.
Plant Shape
Partial Shade
Bloom Time
July - August, September - October
Bloom Color
Landscape Use
Bedding or Border, Understory
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Birds, Attracts Butterflies, Resistant To Deer
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
4 - 8