Actaea cimicifuga simplex DC.
Cimicifuga dahurica tschonoskii Huth
Cimicifuga foetida intermedia Regel
Cimicifuga foetida laciniata Makino
Cimicifuga foetida purpurea Makino
Cimicifuga foetida simplex (DC.) G.Don
Cimicifuga ramosa (Maxim. ex Franch. & Sav.) Nakai
Cimicifuga simplex (DC.) Wormsk. ex Turcz.
Cimicifuga taquetii H.Lév.
Cimicifuga ussuriensis Oett.
Thalictrodes simplex (DC.) Kuntze
Photograph by: KENPEI
Actaea simplex is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing one or more leafy stems 100cm or more tall from a thick rootstock[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
All species in this genus are more or less toxic[
E. Asia - Mongolia, Russian Federation from eastern Siberia (Dauria) to Kamchatka and Sakhalin; Japan, N. China
Mountain meadows and alpine regions all over Japan[
]. Forest margins, scrub, grassy slopes and open lands at elevations of 300 - 3,200 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Plants are hardy to at least -25°c[
Prefers a moist humus rich soil and some shade, succeeding also in deep shade[
]. An easily grown plant, it grows well in ordinary garden soil so long as it does not dry out[
]. Grows well in the dappled shade of woodland[
]. Grows best in a position sheltered from strong winds[
A number of named varieties have been selected for their ornamental value[
The plant can be slow to establish[
A good bee and butterfly plant[
]. The flowers have an unusual, slightly unpleasant smell[
A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[
Leaves - cooked[
Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
The fragrant root is used as a spice[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
]. Only just cover the seed. It germinates in 1 - 12 months or even longer at 15°c[
]. The seed does not store well and soon loses its viability[
], stored seed may germinate better if given 6 - 8 weeks warm stratification at 15°c and then 8 weeks cold stratification[
]. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer[
Division in spring or autumn[
]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.