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Actaea racemosa also known as black cohosh, black bugbane or black snakeroot or fairy candle belongs to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae.

Image of Actaea Racemosaat plant at Google

Actaea racemosa which is also known as black cohosh, black bugbane or black snakeroot or fairy candle belongs to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is native to eastern North America that is, to the south of Ontario to central Georgia, and west to Missouri and Arkansas. This is an herbaceous perennial that is found in small woodlands and can grow up to a height of 4 to 6 feet and Spread wide to about 2 to 4 feet. They are best in woodland gardens, cottage gardens and naturalized areas. This perennial’s roots and rhizomes are of medical importance. They are used as analgesic, sedative, and for anti-inflammatory properties. They have insect repellent properties too. They bloom from June to July and the flowers are small and white in color.

This is used to treat sore throats, kidney problems, and depression and endometritis, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, sterility, and severe after-birth pains, symptoms of premenstrual tension, menopause and other gynecological problems and for increased breast milk production.

The flowers resemble fluffy spires that are about 1-2 inches in length. The foliage is dark green in color. The leaves are basal and are about one meter in length and breadth. They are trip-innate that is in set of three leaflets. The leaves are coarsely margin-ed. The flowers attract flies, gnats and beetles.

There are some side effects to this perennial which include dizziness, headaches, and seizures; diarrhea; nausea and vomiting; sweating; constipation; low blood pressure and slow heartbeats; and weight problems.

The stems are in wiry black purple in color and have an unpleasant and medicinal smell.

Growing/Caring conditions for Actaea racemosa:
– They grow well in 3-8 zones.
– They need Partial shade to full shade to grow well.
– They have medium water requirements.
– They need humus, organically rich, moisture-retentive soils to grow well.
– Mulch the soil to retain moisture.
– The soil should not be allowed to dry out.
– It is best to protect the perennial from strong winds.
– This perennial takes long to establish.
– The leaf can catch rust and leaf spot disease so take care from it.
– The taller flower spires need support or they tend to bend.
– The leaf margins turn to brown and the growth slows down if the soil is not consistent kept moist.

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