This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Linn, (cimex, a bug; fugere, to drive away). Ranunculaceae. Bugbane. Tall hardy herbaceous perennials, ornamental, but bad-smelling, suited for the back of plantings or for partially shaded places in the wild garden. The leaves and tall plants are admired in the hardy border.
Leaves large, decompound: flowers white,, in racemes; sepals 2-5, petaloid, deciduous; petals 1-8, small, clawed, 2-lobed or none: follicles 1-8, many-seeded, sessile or stalked; stigma broad or minute. Allied to Actsea. - About 10 species, natives of the north temperate zone, practically all of which have been used in gardens.
Cimicifugas thrive in half shady or open places in any good garden soil, but are much taller and more showy if the soil is very black and rich. Propagated by seeds and division of roots in fall or early spring. Seeds should be sown in cool moist soil soon after ripening.
Michx. (Actaea podocarpa, DC). Slender, 2-4 ft. high: leaves pale beneath: flowers in elongated raceme; petals 2-horned; pedicels nearly as long as the flower: follicles 3 or 5, stalked; seeds in 1 row, chaffy; stamens and pistils usually in same flower Aug. - Sept. Moist woods N. Y. and S.
Linn. Leaves bipinnate, terminal 1ft. 3-lobed: petals of the white flowers often tipped with anthers; no stami-nodia: follicles 3-5; seeds very chaffy. Summer. Siberia. - Following forms are more commonly cultivation.
Nutt. (C. serpentaria, Pursh). Fig. 963. stem 3-8 ft. high: leaves 2-3 times 3-4-parted; leaflets mostly ovate, firm texture: racemes few, rigidly erect, often becoming 2 ft. long: follicles rather shorter than the pedicel, nearly 1/4in. long, short style abruptly recurved. July, Aug. Ga. to Canada and westward. introduced 1891. Gt. 13:443. Gn. 46, p. 269. G.C. II. 10:557; III. 48:218 -Very pretty in fruit, with its 2 rows of oval follicles always extending upward from the lateral branches. The commonest in gardens. Rhizome and roots valued in medicine.
Fig. 963. Cimicifuga racemosa. (Lfta.X 2/3)
Variety dissecta, Gray (C. spicata, Hort.). Leaves more compound than the type: small white flowers closely packed on lateral and terminal branches. Lasting until Sept. Conn, to S. Pa. J.H. III. 33:381.
Variety simplex, Regel (C. simplex, Wormsk.). Tall and handsome: flowers short-pedicelled, forming a fine, dense raceme, and at first pubescent: follicles short-stalked. Kamtschatka. Gn. 67, p. 8. Gn.W. 21:115; 23:899.
C. cordifolia, Pursh. Leaves very broadly ovate or orbicular. U. S. B.M. 2069. - C. dahurica, Hutt. Higher and more branched than former. Cent. Asia. - C. eldla, Nutt. (C. foetida, Pursh. Actaea Cimicifuga, Linn.). Used in medicine. Ore., Wash. - C. japonica, Spreng. 3 ft. high: leaves very large. F.S. 22:2363 (as Pithyrosperma acerinum). - C. palmata, Michx.=Trautvetteria carolinensis, Vail. k. C.Davis