Actaea James Compton
Actea 'James Compton' photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Black Snakeroot

Actea 'James Compton' is a smaller selection than 'Hillside Black Beauty'. It is a wonderful architectural plant with dark purple foliage that compliments anything it is combined with. The young leaves will be green but will quickly darken to deep purple with a bit of sun. In the late summer the sweetly fragrant white flowers tinged pink sway above the masses of foliage. This plant is a slow grower and takes a couple of years to establish.

  • Height: 91 - 97 cm (36 - 38 in)
  • Spread: 46 - 61 cm (18 - 24 in)
  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 4
  • Sun or Shade: partial sun to partial shade
  • Bloom Time: late summer to early fall
  • Leaf Colour: purple black
  • Bloom Colour: white tinged pink
  • Critter Resistance: deer and rabbits
  • Nature Attraction: pollinators

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Actea 'James Compton' is an easy care plant that thrives in well drained soil that has been enriched with compost. It is considered a plant for partial shade but it will grow in full sun with a constant supply of moisture. It does not like competition from tree roots especially as a young plant. It is shallow rooted and easy to move when young so it can be dug up and reset if it is not thriving.