Actaea racemosa
Actea racemosa photo Suzanne Patry

Black Snakeroot

Actea racemosa is a native wild flower with tall spikes of fragrant ivory white flowers in midsummer and dissected green leaves. It is a dependable back ground plant for the woodland garden and the fragrance will perfume your whole yard. For best growth situate it where it will receive at least three hours of direct sun, either morning or late afternoon.

  • Height: 157 - 244 cm (62 - 96 in)
  • Spread: 76 - 91 cm (30 - 36 in)
  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3
  • Sun or Shade: partial sun to partial shade
  • Bloom Time: midsummer
  • Leaf Colour: green
  • Bloom Colour: white
  • Critter Resistance: deer and rabbits

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Actea racemosa is an easy care perennial for the woodland garden. It is much more vigourous than the black leaved varieties and will self seed to form a nice drift of plants. It is easy to transplant in late summer. It prefers soil enriched with compost and even moisture. It will tolerate some dryness and some tree root competition. It does best with a couple of hours of direct sun. In a lot of shade it will become very leggy and will not flower as well.