Cimicifuga racemosa is a perennial herb, 1-2.5 m tall, from a knotty rhizome.
Leaves alternate, 3-parted, each segment pinnately once or twice compound, leaflets toothed, lobed, 3-10 cm long.
Flowers white, small, sepals 5, to 0.5 cm long, no petals, stamens white, numerous to 1 cm long; inflorescence 20-80 cm long, branched; blooms Aug.-Sept.
Fruit dry capsules 0.6-0.9 cm long with several seeds. No apparent seed dispersal mechanism. Migration to distant or disconnected forest sites is slow to non-existent (Matlack 1994).
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Habitat: Upland woodlands. A forest interior herb (Matlack 1994).
Notes: Poisonous. Plants in the genus Cimicifuga have recently been included in the genus Actaea. Used as a remedy for menopausal hot flashes. According to https://articles.extension.org, “Common diseases found on black cohosh consist of several leaf spots and root rots, including rhizoctonia. Rhizoctonia solani can cause damping off of young, emerging black cohosh seedlings”.