Actaea racemosa

Common Names: Black cohosh, black bugbane, black snakeroot, fairy candle
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Buttercup family

Syn. Cimicifuga racemosa. A smooth (glabrous) herbaceous perennial plant that produces large, compound leaves from an underground rhizome, reaching a height of 25 to 60 cm. The basal leaves are up to 1 m long and broad, forming repeated sets of three leaflets (tripinnately compound) having a coarsely toothed (serrated) margin. The flowers are on a tall stem, 75 to 250 cm tall, forming racemes up to 50 cm long. The flowers have no petals or sepals, and consist of tight clusters of 55 to 110 white, 5 to 10 mm long stamens surrounding a white stigma. The flowers have a distinctly sweet, fetid smell. The fruit is a dry follicle 5 to 10 mm long, with one carpel, containing several seeds.

It grows in a variety of woodland habitats, and is often found in small woodland openings. Blooms in late spring to early summer.

Primary Flower Color: White
Secondary Flower Color: White
Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.