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Actaea 'Pink Spire'

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Kemper Code:  D535

Common Name: bugbane
Zone: 4 to 8
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Ranunculaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 2 to 4 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: August - September   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Pale pink
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Plants generally perform best in rich, fertile, humusy, evenly moist but well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Plants should be sited in locations sheltered from strong winds. Foliage tends to scorch and otherwise depreciate if soils are allowed to dry out or if plants are sited in full sun areas. This is a slow-to-establish plant which, if left undisturbed in optimum growing conditions, can slowly naturalize.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

‘Pink Spire’ is a bugbane that grows to 2-4' tall and is noted for its bronze-purple foliage and late summer spikes of fragrant, pale pink flowers. The elongated, bottlebrush-like flower spikes are typically in bloom from late summer into fall atop dark upright stems rising above a clump of astilbe-like, ternately compound, deep bronze-purple leaves with serrated margins. Foliage mound typically rises to about 2' tall, with the flowering stems rising to 4-5' tall. The common name of bugbane is in reference to the insect repellant properties of the plants of this genus. This plant was formerly included in the genus Cimicifuga. 'Pink Spire' may be synonymous with Actaea simplex 'Pink Spike' which is more commonly available in commerce.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

No serious insect or disease problems. Rust and leaf spot are occasional problems. Foliage generally does not need staking, but taller flower spikes may need some support (ring stakes can be helpful). Flower spikes tend to bend toward bright light, particularly when plants are grown in substantial shade. Leaf margins may brown up (scorch) and growth may slow down if soils are not kept consistently moist.


Adds architectural height and late summer bloom to a shaded part of the border or shade garden. Also effective in woodland gardens, cottage gardens and naturalized areas. Best in groups, although single plants have good specimen value once established. Bronze-purple foliage provides excellent texture and color to the landscape throughout the growing season.

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