Actaea rubifolia

Appalachian Bugbane

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This relatively rare native known as Appalachian or American bugbane is found in wooded areas from the Virginias west to Tennessee. If it's really happy, the white spires of bloom can reach 6-feet, though 3 - 5 feet is the norm. While many varieties of bugbane have finely divided, almost ferny foliage, the leaves of this plant look more like maple leaves.

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, consistently 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, Full Shade
Bloom Time
May - June, July - August, September - October
Bloom Color
Landscape Use
Bedding or Border, Groundcover, Understory
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Butterflies, Resistant To Deer
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
4 - 8