CIMICIFUGA Bugbane, Snakeroot

Many plants are known to nearly all gardeners, but Cimicifuga may well be new to you. It is a tall woodland plant belonging to the Buttercup family, producing white, plume-like flowering spikes in late will not succeed unless you provide the necessary conditions – humus-rich soil below and partial shade above. It also needs space, so it is a perennial for the middle or back of a large herbaceous border which is shaded by a wall or trees. Mulch around the stems in May and provide support. Cut down to ground level in November.

VARIETIES: C. foetida grows 4-6 ft high with a planting distance of 2 ft. The flowering spikes are erect and branched with the unusual property of deterring insects, but the unpleasant smell may also deter you. The variety to grow is ‘White Pearl, blooming in September and October. C. cordifolia (C. americana) is a smaller species (2-4 ft). C. racemosa (5-7 ft) produces flowers in July and August which are slightly fragrant rather than evil smelling.

SITE AND SOIL: Thrives in moist soil and light shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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