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Actaea racemosa

var. cordifolia


$5.00 AUD

Availability: In stock

Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia

Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia bears long candle shaped, creamy-white flowers, in striking heads, like long, soft fluffy pokers. Set off perfectly by black stems and a sweet fragrance.
It is showy and beautiful.

Fragrant fuzzy creamy pokers

The Black Cohosh is eye-catching with both beautiful flowers and handsome foliage.
And tempts with sweet wafting scent in autumn, when the flower spires tower up to 120-180cm. on elegant black stems.

A treat for eye and nose in late autumn

Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia is later blooming than most other perennials and it’s other family members.
So it really carries the beauty of flowers late into autumn when many others have finished.
It then follows up with glowing, vivid butter-yellow autumn foliage.

Handsome maple like foliage

The leaves of Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia are very handsome and an asset to the garden, from their emergence in early spring, all the way through to their vivid finale in late autumn.
Because the leaves are broad, scallop edged, and shaped like very large maple or palm leaves.

Excellent scented cut flowers

The stately spires make excellent cut flowers in a vase, with an entrancing scent too.

Traditional herbal medicine

The common name of Black Cohosh comes from the American First Nation Algonquin people.
Who highly valued the plant for it’s insect repelling qualities, including against mosquitoes.
They also harvested, dried and treasured the rhizomes for use in herbal medicine. Particularly in the treatment of “ladies problems” and gut disorders, amongst other things.
Black Cohosh is still a popular, modern commercial herbal medicine and can be found as capsules in health food stores.

Perfect under trees & shrubs
Plant Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia in Shade to ½ Shade positions with dappled light and shade.
Black Cohosh really enjoys a position under trees and shrubs, as this mimics their native habitat in the deciduous woodlands of Missouri in North America.

Tolerates clay soil

Happily Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia can also tolerate clay soils, and is an excellent choice for gardeners with heavy soil which may become waterlogged at times.
However Black Cohosh does not insist on heavy soil to thrive.
As it delights in any well composted garden soil, and enjoys summer mulch.
Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia is well served by its tough, robust rhizome.
Which can forage well for water and nutrients, and survive the tough times.

Frost hardy perennial clump

Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia is a robustly frost hardy, long-lived perennial clump.
It is also a low maintenance plant, with the only work being to cut the whole plant back to the socks after autumn, mulch for summer, and enjoy the lovely flowers.

Rabbits are not interested

Rabbits generally completely ignore Black Cohosh as the dislike the flavour. So it is repellent to rabbits and deer as well as insects.

While bees adore the sweet spires

Bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinating insects simply adore the nectar-rich flower pokers. And they are particularly grateful in the late autumn season for these sweet blooms, when few other plants are blooming and nectar-rich.


Scatter Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia seeds directly in the garden in autumn or winter / or sow at any time indoors in punnets, when temperatures are suitable.

Indoors for early plants: First sow the seed in a punnet on surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then cover only lightly with seed mix or vermiculite, as these seeds need light to germinate.

Now moisten the mix by placing the punnet in a shallow water bath, and allow the water to percolate up from the bottom. This will ensure the mix is thoroughly moist but not drenched.

Label the punnet with the name and date sown.

For best germination place in a well lit position (but not in any direct sunlight).
Continue to keep moist in approx. 20-25C for 14 days.
(An electronic heat bed is ideal but not essential)

Then wrap the moist punnet in cling-wrap and place in fridge (not freezer) for 3 months.
This breaks the seeds natural winter dormancy.
Now remove from the fridge, unwrap punnet, and keep moist in a well lit position at approx. 20-25C. for seeds to sprout.
Seeds need light to germinate (but do not expose to any direct sunlight).

Tip: It is natural for the seeds of Actaea racemosa var. cordifolia to germinate over a period of time, rather than all sprouting at once. This is a cunning trick by the plant to enhance the chances of offspring emerging into a favourable patch of weather.
So do not be hasty to discard the punnet.

Outdoors: Or sow seeds directly in garden in autumn/early-winter and leave to get the required winter chilling from nature, before germinating in spring.

Seed Count: 40 seeds per packet approximately.
(We always aim to make our seed counts on the generous side – so you receive a generous serve)

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