Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' (black snakeroot) (AKA Cimicifuga ramosa Hillside Black Beauty') is the darkest Cimicifuga to date, 'Hillside Black Beauty' is truly a collector's item. It forms an upright clump of striking, dark purplish-black foliage contrasted by long, white bottle brush blooms late in the season.
Though the young foliage tends to be green, it quickly deepens to an almost iridescent purple-black. In late summer, the 4-7' tall stems are topped with foot-long, fragrant, white flowers blushed with pale pink.
Cimicifuga is a wonderfully lacy, airy backdrop in the garden. It is especially attractive when combined with variegated or yellow foliage. A must have perennial. (Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens)