Actaea racemosa (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Black Bugbane, Black Snakeroot, Fairy Candle
Black Cohosh is a native perennial plant that is common in most of Virginia. In 2017, it was recognized as the Wildflower of the Year by the Virginia Native Plant Society. The scientific name is given as Actaea racemosa by some sources, and Cimicifuga racemosa by others. Black Cohosh is in the buttercup family, and it can grow to be 3 to 7 feet tall. It is one of the largest woodland wildflowers, producing tall spikes with white flowers in the summer. The word "cohosh" comes from an Algonquin word meaning "rough", which refers to the appearance of the plant's rhizomes (underground stems). Another name for it is Black Bugbane, which refers to the plant's unpleasant smell which can repel insects.
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