En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 07, 2008

From: Olympia, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Failure to thrive of Actaea simplex in Washington State
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' that I planted in mid August 2007 in a partial, almost full shade spot. This year it came back , but the foliage is brown with dark and light green areas (not healthy looking). Also, it has several flower spikes, but they never developed fully, and did not bloom. I realize it is probably too late to help for this year, but am wondering what I need to do to ensure it is a healthier plant for next season.

ANSWER:

In our Native Plant Database, we found six members of the Actaea genus, Actaea elata (tall bugbane), Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry), Actaea rubra (red baneberry), Actaea rubra ssp. arguta (red baneberry), Actaea racemosa var. racemosa (black bugbane) and  Actaea rubra ssp. rubra (red baneberry).

However, Actaea simplex (Kemper Center For Home Gardening), is listed as a native to Mongolia, eastern Russia and Japan, and therefore out of our area of expertise, as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center specializes in the use and propagation of plants native to North America. Hopefully, you can get some information from our webpages on the native Actaea to help you. The cultivar "Hillside Black Beauty" is discussed in this Dave's Forum website. It would appear that at least the native species of this plant are a little slow to develop and usually need two years or so to really get going. Also, they need shade and a moist soil. Give it another year to develop and see how it goes.

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Plant identification of shrub in Georgia
May 26, 2010 - I have a bush that has red berries. It is evergreen and the leaves are a soft green. The berries are white at first and turn red. The bush is like a cluster of twigs that are in one area kind of li...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for house landscaping in Virginia
September 01, 2009 - I would like suggestions for types of shrubs to be planted in front of my house.
view the full question and answer

Male or female Jatropha curcas from Brownsville TX
August 16, 2012 - How do know the sex of a young Jatropha C. plant? how many weeks before you can tell a boy/girl plant ?
view the full question and answer

Privacy Screen for Heavy Clay and Full Sun in Louisiana
April 19, 2013 - What would be a fast-growing plant for privacy in Louisiana? I have heavy clay and full sun.
view the full question and answer

Small shrub to plant in Austin Texas
March 11, 2009 - Hi.. I live in Southwest Austin and I am looking for a shrub that I can plant against the back of my house, which faces the north. I want something native, fairly low maintenance and not too large,...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center