Black bugbane (Actaea racemosa) Seeds
In mid-summer, tall, graceful white flower stalks bloom in the shade above dark green foliage and the flowers are regularly covered with pollinating insects. Foliage creates a 3' clump with flower stalks reaching 6'. A very dramatic wildflower for shady locations. Important medicinal herb.
Native to Maine: No. Native from southwestern New England to the south and west.
Growing conditions: Shade to part sun in medium soil
Grows up to: 6'
Blooms: In mid-summer
Pairs well with: Blue lobelia and red baneberry
Natural habitat: Deciduous woodlands and shady roadsides
Seeds per packet: 50-100
Germination Code(s): D
These seeds need an alternating warm-cold-warm cycle to germinate. We recommend that you sow them outdoors in pots from May through June (warm period). They’ll germinate the following year, after a winter (cold period) and then spring (warm period). This species is challenging to grow, and a great species for more experienced seed-sowers.
Each seed package carries a specific germination code along with the plant description. These codes indicate specific sowing instructions.
- A Seeds can be sown outdoors in fall or early spring.
- B Seeds need a winter or cold period to germinate. Sow outdoors in fall or winter.
- C Seeds need light to germinate; sow on soil surface and leave uncovered.
- D Seeds need alternating cycles of warm-to-cold-to-warm to germinate. They can be sown either outdoors in spring or summer and will germinate the following year or in a flat in a warm place for 3 months, then moved to a refrigerator for 2 months, then moved outside in the early summer warmth.
- E Seeds can not be allowed to dry out. Sow immediately.
- F Seeds take two years to germinate. Sow outside in the fall or winter and look for germination in the second spring. A shady location prevents the flats from rapid drying and reduces weeding
- G Large seeds should be soaked overnight in water.
- FERN: Sow spores in a warm bright location in a sealed container and keep moist. Directions enclosed with package. Challenging.
If you have specific questions about seeds and germination guidelines please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All seeds can be sown and placed outdoors in fall or winter bypassing the need for an artificial indoor cold stratification (refrigerator) required for some species when planted in spring. This is the simplest method. See How to Grow Natives From Seed for detailed instructions.