Actaea dahurica

(Also known as: Actaea foetida. Previously Circimifuga)


Fluffy, creamy white spires of flowers compliment large glossy, light green foliage.
So both the dramatic flower spires and the deeply cut leaves make Actaea dahurica a very attractive garden highlight.  

Sweetly scented & lovely cut

The showy summer spires have a delicious sweet scent, to be enjoyed in both the garden and the vase.
Plus they make excellent and long lasting cut flowers.

A treasure for the shade

Actaea dahurica is easily grown in the right spot.
So choose a position with dappled light and shade, or even full shade. plus well enriched soil, and Actaea will impress all comers with it’s towering creamy spires.

Insect repelling properties

Actaea have a long standing reputation as useful companion plants that help to deter pesky insects.
Hence their common name of “Bugbane”. Medicinal herbalists also used the roots as an analgesic.

Originally Circimifuga

John Bartram first introduced the plant from Mongolia in 1732, when they were named as Cimicifuga.
But then in the year 2000, DNA evidence proved them to actually be Actaea, and so they were reclassified.
The botanists certainly do like to keep us on our toes.

Growing: Actaea dahurica

– Height with flowers: 100cm approx. But the height will vary because they grow taller in more moisture retentive soil.
– Width: A clump of attractive foliage to a width of approx. 70cm.
– Position: Actaea ideally prefer Partial Shade with the dappled light and shade of woodland conditions, or alternatively Full Shade. Though they can take a little gentle morning sun.
– Soil: Actaea will tolerate a range of soil conditions, but really enjoys and perform best in heavier soils that retain moisture for longer. Well suited to enriched clay based soils.

– Fragrance: Sweetly fragrant flowers that make excellent cut flowers as well as garden display.
– Frost: Very frost hardy, even in hard frosts down to at least -20C.
– Growth: Actaea make a neat perennial clump which is deciduous in winter. The foliage turns rich butter yellow in autumn, which adds to the ornamental value of the plant.
– Attracts: The fragrant flower spires attract and feed bees and all types of beneficial pollinators.

– Care: Easy to grow, with very little maintenance required, other than cutting back to the ground after the autumn foliage show. Actaea plants are slow to establish, so don’t worry if your new plants do not make much growth in the first season after planting. Mulch and feed well, and look forward to their ongoing show after their first year.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: The chemical compounds that make Actaea insect repelling plants and traditional herbal medicine, also make then unattractive the rabbits and deer. They don’t like the taste.
– Origin: Actaea are native to woodlands in Eastern Asia – China, Japan, and particularly in Mongolia.


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