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Friday, September 18, 2009

The 'Pearl'

There's a plant in my shade bed that is just coming into full bloom. Earlier in the year I wrote a post about it, I don't know what it is (nor can I find the post but it's starting out as one of those days...).

My guess has always been that this plant is part of the Cimicifuga family which has for some reason be renamed as the Actea family.

It seeds around nicely and the seedlings don't seem to mind being transplanted. (I've still got more to share.)

Here you can see the whole plant. Although I tried a number of times, my camera just doesn't want to focus on the white blooms. The leaves aren't as finely cut as the Cimicifugas I see online or for sale. As a mature plant it gets quite large. A nice bonus is that the leaves don't seem to be affected by the slugs that have been ravishing this part of the garden.

There is a Cimicifuga named 'White Pearl'. I know that this plant is not that specific hybrid because these are all seedlings but it sure looks quite a bit like a strand of white pearls.

Out in front of my house I have Cimicifuga 'James Compton' which I bought last year. It caught my attention because of it's dark, almost purple foliage. As you can see here, the bloom is very similar but the buds are dark purple.

If I could bring this to you in smell-a-vision you would just swoon because the scent is heavenly! I never would have expected this simple flower to have such a strong smell and at first I looked around to see what else was blooming. As an afterthough, I think I'll cut a bloom and bring it inside to see how long the perfume lasts.

Here you can see the foliage of 'James Compton' when I bought it. So far I can't say the foliage has done much in the garden, I couldn't get a single decent shot of it yesterday and will try again today. As with most purple foliage plants, it's lost it's coloration this late in the season and now just appears to be dark green with hints of purple (squint hard and you might see it).

If you decide to plant this in your garden I would suggest buying 3 or 5 and planting them as a group unless you are a very patient gardener.

In truth I did have a second photo showing this foliage but there wasn't the adorable face peeping out from behind. Calie-the-wonderdoodle had to sneak her way into my photo shoot that day. It was a pretty amazing feat for this big lumbering 70 pound dog to slip into that corner and appear so innocent.


  1. Hi Melanie, I just did a post when some Bugbane just 'appeared' out of nowhere in my garden. It is so pretty, and I have now seen it on at least 4 other blogs since I wrote the post! I think it must have gotten mislabeled as I've planted it with a bunch of astilbe, and know I never purchased it purposely. Or I suppose it could have been a small seedling, in with some astilbe in a pot? At any rate, it must have been growing for years and this is the first year I've seen it bloom. I love your plant with the purple buds, that is a pretty variety!


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