Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty'

Black Bugbane

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This member of the Actaea or bugbane family is particularly prized for it remarkably dark purple, almost black foliage. In late summer, bugbanes develop tall flower spires with heavily scented flowers that are repellent (or a bane) to bugs. In fact, in earlier times, they were used to repel bed bugs.

'Hillside Black Beauty' is a shade-loving plant that forms a clump about 2-3 feet high with flower spikes reaching 3-4 feet high. It requires consistently moist soils in order to retain its lush appearance and unusual leaf color. This plant is well-suited to woodland and shade gardens and while slow to establish is relatively easy to grow and maintain. The drama of the flower spikes is enhanced when planted in groups.

Plant Shape
Partial Shade, Full Shade
Bloom Time
May - June, 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
3 - 7