Actaea simplex 'Brunette'

Black Bugbane

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Cimicifuga ramosa 'Brunette' has recently been reclassified as Actaea simplex 'Brunette', based upon results of DNA studies. In spite of the name 'Brunette', its leaves mature to purplish black.A stunning perennial plant for shade, the handsome, dark-colored leaves are the perfect background for the tall spikes of white (fading to pink) flowers. All plants in this genus need moderately moist soils to grow at their best.

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, Specimen Plant, Understory
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Birds, Attracts Butterflies, Resistant To Deer
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
3 - 8