Actaea sp.


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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 tall spikes of tightly packed flowers, often followed by conspicuous berries. NOTE: Berries are poisonous to people and rabbits; harmless to birds and butterflies.

Most bloom white, though there are pink varieties. Gardeners welcome those flowers as a tall vertical element in woodland gardens or shady border, especially because Actaeas bloom later in the season than most shade plants. The common name of bugbane comes from their ability to repel insects and in earlier times they were used to get rid of bedbugs.
Plant Shape
Partial Shade, Full 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
3 - 7