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Actaea rubifolia

Actaea rubifolia (Kearney) Kartesz

Actaea cordifolia auct. non DC.

Cimicifuga cordifolia auct. non (DC.) Torr. & A. Gray

Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. var. cordifolia auct. non (DC.) A. Gray

Cimicifuga rubifolia Kearney

Appalachian Bugbane

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderRanunculalesBasal (evolved earlier) eudicots, also called “true dicots”
FamilyRanunculaceaeButtercup family
GenusActaeaFrom ancient Greek, signifying a wet habitat and its leaves’ similarity to Sambucus leaves
Speciesrubifolia

About plant names...

The “bugbane” in Appalachian bugbane refers to its unpleasant-smelling flowers’ ability to repel insects. This is a North American native, and an endangered species. There are small populations in Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and the lower Ohio River Valley.

 

Actaea rubifolia (Appalachian Bugbane)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (16 × 24 cm)

Actaea rubifolia (Appalachian Bugbane)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Some similar plants:

 
Actaea racemosa

Actaea racemosa var. racemosa
You are here
Actaea rubifolia
Common Name

Black Snakeroot

Black Cohosh

Appalachian Bugbane
Plant Plants reach 10-24" (25-60 cm). Plants are 3-6' (91-182 cm) tall, rarely to 9' (2.7 m); and fast-growing. Plants are 12-55" (30-140 cm) tall.
Flowers White flowers form on tall stalks up to 8' (2.5 m) in height, with the flowering portions up to 20" (50 cm) tall.

Long, attractive, feathery-looking spikes 6-24" (15-60 cm) long. Individual flowers have 4-5 sepals and are about ⅜" (9.5 mm) in diameter. White flowers form long, attractive, feathery-looking spikes 6-24" (15-60 cm) long, straight or slightly curved. Individual flowers have 5 sepals and are about ⅜" (9.5 mm) in diameter.
Leaves Leaves often occur in groups of three, on thin stems, and are saw-toothed. Toothed, irregular in shape, in roughly triangular clusters tipped by a larger three-lobed leaflets. Leaflets are 1-4" (3-10 cm) long. Toothed, shaped like maple leaves. Leaflets are 6-12" (15-30 cm) long.
Fruit Black or dark brown seeds. Fruits are ⅛-¼" (6-9 mm) long, thick, and leathery. Fruits are ⅛" (3 mm) around, and reddish brown.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Rich soils in moist woods, ravines Rich, moist deciduous woods  
Type Wild Wild Wild
Occurrence Common Endangered in IL and MA Endangered

 

 
Sanicula canadensis
Common Name

Canadian Black Snakeroot
Plant Plants are 12-24" (30-60 cm) high. Stems are light green, sometimes furrowed.
Flowers Small clusters, greenish-white, not especially interesting.
Leaves In groups of three, and are less than 3" (7.6 cm) long.
Fruit Seed pods are about ½" (1.3 cm) in diameter, and resemble burrs, with small hooks.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Rich woods, open rocky woods, thickets
Type Wild
Occurrence Common

 

Identification: Plants are 12-55" (30-140 cm) tall. Leaves are toothed, and shaped like maple leaves. Leaflets are 6-12" (15-30 cm) long. The white flowers form long, attractive, feathery-looking spikes 6-24" (15-60 cm) long, straight or slightly curved. Individual flowers have 5 sepals and are about ⅜" (9.5 mm) in diameter. Fruits are ⅛" (3 mm) around, and reddish brown.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones I couldn’t find specific information for this species, but other members of this family are very poisonous.

Online References:

Actaea rubifolia on eFloras

Actaea rubifolia on Discover Life

Actaea rubifolia at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Actaea rubifolia on Biodiversity of the Oak Ridge Reservation

Actaea rubifolia (Appalachian Bugbane)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Actaea rubifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Range:

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