Actaea rubifolia (Kearney) Kartesz
Actaea cordifolia auct. non DC.
Cimicifuga cordifolia auct. non (DC.) Torr. & A. Gray
Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. var. cordifolia auct. non (DC.) A. Gray
Cimicifuga rubifolia Kearney
The “bugbane” in Appalachian bugbane refers to its unpleasant-smelling flowers’ ability to repel insects. This is a North American native, and an endangered species. There are small populations in Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and the lower Ohio River Valley.
Some similar plants:
|You are here
|Plant||Plants reach 10-24" (25-60 cm).||Plants are 12-55" (30-140 cm) tall.||Plants are 12-24" (30-60 cm) high. Stems are light green, sometimes furrowed.|
|Flowers||White flowers form on tall stalks up to 8' (2.5 m) in height, with the flowering portions up to 20" (50 cm) tall.||White flowers form long, attractive, feathery-looking spikes 6-24" (15-60 cm) long, straight or slightly curved. Individual flowers have 5 sepals and are about ⅜" (9.5 mm) in diameter.||Small clusters, greenish-white, not especially interesting.|
|Leaves||Leaves often occur in groups of three, on thin stems, and are saw-toothed.||Toothed, shaped like maple leaves. Leaflets are 6-12" (15-30 cm) long.||In groups of three, and are less than 3" (7.6 cm) long.|
|Fruit||Black or dark brown seeds.||Fruits are ⅛" (3 mm) around, and reddish brown.||Seed pods are about ½" (1.3 cm) in diameter, and resemble burrs, with small hooks.|
|Habitats||Rich soils in moist woods, ravines||Rich woods, open rocky woods, thickets|
Identification: Plants are 12-55" (30-140 cm) tall. Leaves are toothed, and shaped like maple leaves. Leaflets are 6-12" (15-30 cm) long. The white flowers form long, attractive, feathery-looking spikes 6-24" (15-60 cm) long, straight or slightly curved. Individual flowers have 5 sepals and are about ⅜" (9.5 mm) in diameter. Fruits are ⅛" (3 mm) around, and reddish brown.
Edibility: Poisonous I couldn’t find specific information for this species, but other members of this family are very poisonous.
Actaea rubifolia on eFloras
Actaea rubifolia on Discover Life
Actaea rubifolia at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Actaea rubifolia on Biodiversity of the Oak Ridge Reservation
Actaea rubifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.