- Black Cohosh-Actaea racemosa Hardy Planting Zones- 3-8 Sun or Shade – Partial Shade Mature Height - 5-8' Mature Width- 2-4' Bloom Season – Summer Gardener Status- Beginner
Black Cohosh - Cimicifuga racemosa
Black Cohosh known best for its medicinal purposes, is part of the buttercup family. Its tall billowy flowered stems emit a sweet fragrance that attracts pollinators. Preferring partial shade and richer soils, these statuesque perennials stand up to 7 feet tall. They are easy to care for and can withstand periods of dryness.
The black cohosh is a perennial wildflower that features light plumes of small, star-shaped white flowers that bloom mid- to late-summer. They have a medium, fern-like appearance with dark green foliage. The black cohosh features ornamental fruit, and attractive seedpods are often popular in winter flower arrangements. It is native to the eastern part of the United States. This slower-growing plant can tolerate poor drainage conditions. Its tall flower stalks may need to be staked. Native Americans used black cohosh to treat a wide range of health issues many years ago. Since then, the herb has been used in some alternative medical practices to treat fever, menstrual symptoms, and pain. Black cohosh seeds must be exposed to a cycle of warm and cold temperatures to germinate. Ideally, they have put in 70 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures for a couple of weeks and then in 40 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures for three months before planting. Seeds should be planted a couple of inches apart and a quarter inch deep in moist, organically rich soil and covered with an inch of mulch. Seeds can be germinated in a cold frame as well. Easy-to-maintain, it is resistant to deer, non-aggressive and non-invasive. Homeowners can add black cohosh as a unique wildflower to any landscape. The plants are also suitable for bordering a bog garden and can be used to naturalize an area. Adding black cohosh to the home garden makes an impressive splash due to its height and late summer blooms.