Apr. 4, 2018

black snakeroot, Actaea racemosa

Blacksnake root - oops! No, it's black snakeroot, another example of a plant for which the stamens do the work of petals. This one is from the buttercup family. These tall spires grace woodlands in early summer. Their bright flowers and musty aroma attract flies, gnats and beetles. Also called, less ambiguously, black cohosh. The ambiguity extends to the scientific name. This was placed in the genus Actaea by Linnaeus all those years ago. It was subsequently revised to Cimicifuga, which it has long been known as. Only recently did genetic analysis reveal that Linnaeus once again got it right. These grow in AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV, ON, and QC. Hidden Lake Gardens, Lenawee Co MI, 6/29/12.