Actaea racemosa (black cohosh, black bugbane, black snakeroot, fairy candle; syn. Cimicifuga racemosa) is in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), and is a woodland plant native to eastern North America. It's lovely, white, candelabra-like flower stalks present beautifully in the shaded garden, as well as in the wooded border. With the flower stalks, it can stand over 5' tall.
The species grows in dependably moist, fairly heavy soil. It bears tall tapering racemes of white midsummer flowers on wiry black-purple stems, whose mildly unpleasant, medicinal smell at close range gives it the common name "Bugbane". The drying seed heads can stay attractive in the garden for many weeks. It[s deeply cut leaves add interest to woodland gardens, which make it a popular garden perennial. In moister soils, it can tolerate bight sun.
Adapted from Wikipedia
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