Friday, June 19, 2009

Actaea of the best parts of the summer in Fern Valley

Actually, I'm sorry it's no longer Cimicifuga racemosa, a name that rolled off the tongue. Quite a few plants that were not Actaea before are now. Oh well, it could be worse. Stefan tells me that if the genus Salvia isn't split, it will subsume quite a few well established genera. Apparently our, the north American, Salvias will actually leave the genus. Oh well. The problem is, as I age my mind becomes less limber and so less able to cope with these changes. Well, I guess exercise won't hurt it!

Black Cohosh, Bugbane, Fairy Candles....this plant has some interesting names. It provides a nice vertical element in the summer, grows in the shade, doesn't seem affected much by diseases or pests, and tolerates a wide range of soil moisture from quite wet to average garden conditions. It's a good plant. There are cultivars with quite dark foliage that may include some western genes but still have good names like 'Black Negligee'. I like the species. Occasionally I come upon large stands of it in wet woods and that is quite a sight.

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