Black Cohosh bare root rhizome



This purchase is for bare root rhizome of Actaea racemosa (formerly Cimcifuga racemosa), either a single root or a pack of three. Your purchase supports conservation activities at Sage Mountain Botanical Sanctuary, a member of the United Plant Savers botanical sanctuary network.

We ship Black Cohosh as a bare root rhizome. We encourage you to plant it in Autumn, so that it can send out roots and get established during dormancy to sprout in the Spring.

See information on planting and cultivating Black Cohosh below.

SKU 300 Category Tag

Black Cohosh Actaea racemosa (formerly Cimcifuga racemosa) is one of our favorite plants at the Sage Mountain Botanical Sanctuary for its stately and stunning summer flowers. This plant can grow in Zones 3-9; in warmer zones, deeper shade is recommended; in cooler zones, it may tolerate more sun.

Black Cohosh is native to eastern North America from the extreme south of Ontario to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. It grows in a variety of woodland habitats, and the roots and rhizomes have long been included in medicinal preparations for their antispasmodic, proestrogenic, analgesic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties.

We ship this plant as a bare root rhizome. We encourage you to plant it in Autumn, so that it can send out roots and get established during dormancy to sprout in the Spring.



From the Missouri Botanic Garden:


Easily grown in average, medium moisture soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers humusy, organically rich, moisture-retentive soils. Foliage tends to scorch and otherwise depreciate if soils are allowed to dry out. Best sited in locations sheltered from strong winds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Actaea racemosa, commonly called black cohosh, is an upright perennial native to the United States, especially the Central and Appalachian forests. It typically grows to a total height (foliage plus flowering spikes) of 4-6’, but under optimum conditions can reach 8’. Small, numerous, creamy white, fragrant flowers appear in late summer to early fall in long, terminal racemes resembling fluffy spires (typically 1-2’ long) rising well above the foliage on wiry stems. Astilbe-like, deeply cut, tripinnate foliage is an attractive deep green.

Genus name is the Latin name adopted by Linnaeus from Pliny.

Specific epithet refers to the flowers being produced in racemes.

The common name of bugbane is in reference to the odoriferous insect repellant properties of this plant. Cohosh comes from an Algonquin word meaning rough in reference to the appearance of plant rhizomes.

No serious insect or disease problems. Rust and leaf spot are occasional problems. Foliage generally does not need staking, but taller flower spires may need some support. Flower spires tend to bend toward bright light, particularly when plants are grown in substantial shade.

Adds architectural height and late summer bloom to a shaded part of the border or shade garden. Also effective in woodland gardens, cottage gardens and naturalized areas. Best in groups, although single plants have good specimen value once established. White flower spires are generally more demonstrative in front of darker backgrounds. Deep green foliage provides excellent texture and color to the landscape throughout the growing season.


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