Acatea Racemosa- James Compton

Acatea Racemosa- James Compton

This is the star plant in my garden this week. Originally called Cimicifuga, it is now called Acatea -Racemosa. This variety is a dark burgundy color and flowers several weeks later than the common snakeroot which has green leaves and is several feet taller- at least in my garden. The man who discovered  this black Snakeroot variety is called James Compton and I had the opportunity to meet him in England. When we met he told me the Latin name was being changed.  I was a little upset because it took me a while to learn to pronounce Cimicifuga!  The scent is very sweet and I don’t mind it in a large landscape, but be careful using it as a cut flower- it tends to overpower.  It is very hardy to zone 4-5 and reaches a height of about 5′ feet.

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4 Responses to Acatea Racemosa- James Compton

  1. Per says:

    OK – I’m starting to get it… The Acatea Racemosa’s dark leaves also provide an interesting contrast to the Rosemary Willow behind it (that is Rosemary Willow, right?). Nice. Per

  2. Don Statham says:

    Per- You got it and yes that is Rosemary Willow behind- well spotted!
    I think the Acatea is in your plan for the white garden! Best, Don

  3. BBC says:

    Very gestural. I can’t picture the snake root that grows wild in Oklahoma. A friend of mine had a large field, and people would ask whether they could scavenge it. They sell it for medicinal purposes. It is used in creams and numbing anesthetics like at the dentist. She didn’t mind when they actually asked, but found out that holes would be left in their place, and one could twist their ankle when walking across. There must be a wide variety of the plant, if they can survive well in such dramatically different zones!

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