Perennials forum: Actaea racemosa (black snakeroot)

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Name: Matt Saba
Lower East Side, New York, New (Zone 7b)
Sabaladas
Dec 29, 2014 1:40 PM CST
Dear Gardeners,

I am thinking about what to do in my shady community garden plot this year and want to go with shade-loving plants rather than trying to force vegetables to grow there. I wanted to try Actaea racemosa (black snakeroot or black cohosh), and am wondering if anyone has had success with this plant and if there are recommendations for where to buy it. Also, would you recommend buying seedlings or starting from seed?
[Last edited by Sabaladas - Dec 29, 2014 1:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Dec 29, 2014 1:50 PM CST
I've never tried them from seed, but have successfully grown them from starter plants. Bluestone Perennials is offering 3 varieties (they still list them as Cimicifuga racemosa).

http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/genus/Cimicifuga.html

LazyS'S is offering 3 varieties too:

http://www.lazyssfarm.com/index.html
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Dec 29, 2014 2:27 PM CST
I have all three of the Bluestone Cimifugas.
Racemosa is very tall and has behaved nicely as far as spreading.
Thumb of 2014-12-29/ge1836/4393fa


Black Negligee does well in part shade It is more bushy and about 30 inches high

Thumb of 2014-12-29/ge1836/3a1051

Hillside Black Beauty looks similar but is a bit taller. Part shade will keep all dark leaved plants from bleaching in the sun.
Name: Matt Saba
Lower East Side, New York, New (Zone 7b)
Sabaladas
Dec 29, 2014 3:15 PM CST
@Gemini_Sage: thanks for the tips- I took a look at both sites and definitely going to place an order. @Ge1836 - lovely pictures!

My plot is very shady (between two buildings and under a locust tree) so hopefully these will take.
[Last edited by Sabaladas - Dec 29, 2014 3:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Dec 29, 2014 4:12 PM CST
Best of luck.
Name: Matt Saba
Lower East Side, New York, New (Zone 7b)
Sabaladas
Jan 5, 2015 6:44 AM CST
Follow up question for @ge1836 and @Gemini_Sage: how long did it take your plants to flower?
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 5, 2015 6:49 AM CST
It's been several years since I grew them (in my previous garden in a wooded environment), but I think they bloomed the 2nd year.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Jan 5, 2015 7:14 AM CST
My rasmosa was a large clump dug from a friends garden. It bloomed the year after planting because it was dug after bloom the first year.
Name: Matt Saba
Lower East Side, New York, New (Zone 7b)
Sabaladas
Jan 5, 2015 2:39 PM CST
Good to know - thanks!

Matt
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Jan 5, 2015 7:15 PM CST

Moderator

I had them a few years ago, in pretty much full shade they tended to be on the green side rather then black.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Jan 6, 2015 3:27 AM CST
Actraea racemosa black cohosh has green leaves. Maybe thats the variety you planted NJ Bob.
Actaea atropurpurea has dark purple
Name: Tim
Iron county, mo (Zone 6b)
Timnsemo
Jan 13, 2015 10:22 PM CST
I have it......it has always been easy for me......can't remember where i got it, but did acquire as a plant, not seeds....I have read seed germination is highly variable, sporadic, sometimes taking more than a year.

I have 3 plants, the plain species....recently consolidated a couple of clumps--it looks much better grouped. Mine are planted in fairly heavy shade, and do well.

Hope that helps
Tim
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Jan 14, 2015 4:09 AM CST
Welcome to ATP Tim.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jan 14, 2015 8:56 AM CST
Welcome! Tim!
Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Jan 15, 2015 8:27 AM CST
Welcome! Tim!!
Jo Ann, love that tall Racemosa.
I planted Black Beauty one year, it survived the first winter and then slowly died the next year. I am going to get some more of these for sure.
robinseeds.com
Name: Matt Saba
Lower East Side, New York, New (Zone 7b)
Sabaladas
Jan 19, 2015 2:14 PM CST
@Timnsemo glad to hear yours are flourishing. It really is a stunning plant and I'm looking forward to trying it out this year.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Jan 19, 2015 2:18 PM CST
Welcome, Tim.

The first year I had it in too much sun but it did flower in August/September. I moved it to too much shade and it didn't flower at all. Maybe the third try will be the one that works.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Jan 19, 2015 3:02 PM CST
I had trees cut down where my roseaea is. It will be full sun there from now on. Hope it adjusts.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Jan 19, 2015 3:27 PM CST
It's well established now so just keep it well mulched and hope for the best.

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