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Cimicifuga Guide

Martha Stewart Living Television

Commonly known as bugbane and snakeroot, Cimicifuga is prized not only for its beautiful blooms, but also for its spectacular foliage, which can be enjoyed year-round.

Comprising 19 species, 13 of which are native to Asia and six to North America, Cimicifuga bears attractive spikes of flowers that are ideal for adding height and depth to borders.

Hardy in Zones 3 to 8, these plants prefer well-drained soil and even moisture and are relatively carefree but generally slow to establish.

Cimicifuga Glossary
C. simplex 'Brunette'
Although this variety is often sold as C. racemosa, it is actually a member of the simplex species. Noted for its colorful plum-purple foliage, it bears fragrant, 6-foot-tall spikes of flowers in early September.

C. japonica
Shorter than most Cimicifugas, this variety bears 2-foot-tall spikes of pink flowers in midsummer and is particularly well-suited to woodland gardens.

C. dahurica
Native to South Korea, this late-blooming variety bears 6-foot-tall flowering stems and leaves that can reach 2 feet long. It grows well in full sun or partial shade; its male plants flower more broadly than female specimens.

C. mairei
Common throughout China's Szechuan region, this variety bears panicles of white flowers that grow up to 8 feet tall.