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Cimicifuga americana Michx.
Actaea americana; Actaea podocarpa

Life   Plantae   Dicotyledoneae   Ranunculaceae   Cimicifuga

Cimicifuga americana
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 4
Cimicifuga americana

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Cimicifuga americana
© Les Mehrhoff, 2008-2010 · 4
Cimicifuga americana
Cimicifuga americana, leaf - basal or on lower stem
© Copyright Steve Baskauf, 2002-2011 · 4
Cimicifuga americana, leaf - basal or on lower stem

Cimicifuga americana, whole plant - in flower - general view
© Copyright Steve Baskauf, 2002-2011 · 4
Cimicifuga americana, whole plant - in flower - general view
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Following modified from Plants Database, United States Department of Agriculture
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Actaea podocarpa DC.
mountain bugbane

Image of Actaea podocarpa

General Information
Symbol: ACPO11
Group: Dicot
Family: Ranunculaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : L48   N
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Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Actaea thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 92. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society . Scanned by Omnitek Inc . Usage Requirements .



Symbol Scientific Name Other Common Names
ACCO25 Actaea cordifolia DC.
CIAM Cimicifuga americana Michx. mountain bugbane
CICO9 Cimicifuga cordifolia (DC.) Torr. & A. Gray
CIRAC Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. var. cordifolia (DC.) A. Gray


Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Ranunculales
Family Ranunculaceae – Buttercup family
Genus Actaea L. – baneberry
Species Actaea podocarpa DC. – mountain bugbane

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Threatened and Endangered Information:
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete protected plant list for that location.
Illinois Cimicifuga americana
American bugbane Endangered
Pennsylvania Cimicifuga americana
mountain bugbane Rare

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

North America
Eastern Mountains and Piedmont FACU
Midwest FAC

Related Links

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ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (ACPO11)
Flora of North America (ACPO11)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (CIAM)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (CIRAC)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

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Following modified from Flora of North America
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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Ranunculaceae | Cimicifuga

5. Cimicifuga americana Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 316. 1803.

American bugbane

Cimicifuga cordifolia Pursh; C . racemosa (Linnaeus) Nuttall var. cordifolia (Pursh) A. Gray

Stems 60-250 cm, usually glabrous, rarely sparsely pubescent. Leaves: petiole rounded abaxially, 8-16 cm, broadly and shallowly grooved adaxially, glabrous, rarely with a few lax hairs in groove. Leaf blade (2-)3-ternately compound; leaflets 32-100; terminal leaflet of central segment ovate to oblong, incisely 3-lobed, 6-15 × 4-14 cm, with 3 veins arising basally, base cuneate to somewhat cordate, margins dentate to serrate, apex acute to acuminate, surfaces glabrous or glabrate; other leaflets 3-15 × 3-10 cm. Inflorescences ± lax panicles of 3-10 racemelike branches, 10-50 cm, densely short-pubescent and granular; bract 1, subtending pedicel, broadly triangular, acute, 1-3 mm; pedicel to 20 mm, granular, bracteoles present along most of pedicel, narrowly triangular, acute. Flowers: sepals 5, 3 outer white tinged red, 2 inner yellowish green; petals usually 2, rarely more, sessile, body yellowish with white lobes, ovate, 3-6 mm; nectary basal; stamens 40-70; filaments 6-10 mm; pistils 3-8, short-stipitate, body glabrous, stipe granular; style subulate, often curved; stigma minute, 0.2 mm wide. Follicles 2-4, stipitate, obovate, laterally compressed, 8-17 mm, membranous walled, glabrous. Seeds pale brown, lenticular, ca. 3.5 mm, covered with whitish, broad, lacerate scales but not apprearing cylindric.

Flowering summer-fall (Aug-Oct). Moist, rich, rocky and boulder-strewn, wooded slopes and coves; 300-2000 m; Ga., Ill., Ky., Md., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va.

Much confusion has developed over the name Cimicifuga cordifolia Pursh. Although F. Pursh (1814, vol. 2, pp. 372-373) considered it synonymous with C . americana , several other authors have variously misapplied the name C . cordifolia to C . racemosa and C . rubifolia .

Updated: 2020-08-05 05:25:08 gmt
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