Actaea podocarpa - DC.
Mountain Bugbane
Other Common Names: mountain bugbane
Synonym(s): Cimicifuga americana Michx.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cimicifuga americana Michx. (TSN 18753)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144206
Element Code: PDRAN07010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Buttercup Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Ranunculales Ranunculaceae Actaea
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cimicifuga americana
Taxonomic Comments: Species generally known by the name Cimicifuga americana. Kartesz (1999) moves this species to the genus Actaea, and uses the name Actaea podocarpa. Can be distinguished from Cimicifuga (Actaea) racemosa by the presence of a deep, broad groove on the upper side of lowest petiole (leaf stem) of this species.
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 03Jan2000
Global Status Last Changed: 27Jan2000
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This species is a broad endemic to the southern and central Appalachians, known from a few hundred populations. Although no information was found regarding its targeted collection from wild populations, it seems to be facing incidental collection and subsequent decline due to its resemblance to the widely collected C. racemosa (Blakley pers. comm., Kauffman pers. comm., Suggs pers. comm.). It also appears to be facing specific habitat development pressure in mountainous areas (Dellinger pers. comm.).
Nation: United States
National Status: NNR

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Georgia (S3?), Illinois (S1), Kentucky (S5), Maryland (S2), North Carolina (S4), Pennsylvania (S3), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (SNR), Virginia (S4), West Virginia (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: This species is primarily endemic to the southern and central Appalachian region, from northern Georgia to western Pennsylvania (Weakley 1996), and a disjunction to southern Illinois (USDA-NRCS 1999). There are also a few disjunct occurrences in some of the diabase outcrops in the piedmont of South Carolina (Pittman pers. comm.). It is known from one county in the Allegheny Plateau of Maryland (Frye pers. comm.).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Rangewide, there are estimated to be fewer than 500 extant populations. Maryland: 10; North Carolina: 100 (Kauffman pers. comm.); South Carolina: 12; Tennessee: 50-100+ (Brumback and Mehrhoff 1996, APSU 1999).

Better recognition of this species is turning up additional occurrences formerly confused with C. racemosa, especially near the edge of the range of this species (Kunsman pers. comm., Pittman pers. comm.). But estimation of population numbers is made more difficult by the possibility of co-occurrence with the more common and widespread C. racemosa (Kauffman pers. comm.).

Population Size Comments: Small populations of less than a dozen individual plants are common (Kunsman pers. comm., Kauffman pers. comm., Pittman pers. comm.).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: There is hearsay that, especially in western North Carolina, plants are wild-collected for the plant trade. Collection of this species is likely given the potential for confusion with C. racemosa (Blakley pers. comm., Suggs pers. comm.). No evidence was found of targeted collection of this species, though Kauffman (pers. comm.) indicated that an unknown proportion of the permitted harvest of C. racemosa in the Black Mountains on North Carolina is probably incidentally-collected C. americana.

The following information is for "black cohosh", Cimicifuga racemosa; however it is very likely given the location of collections that some of this material is in fact C. americana: USDA Forest Service collection permits, per Kauffman (pers. comm.): 1997 - 2200 lbs. (dry); 1998 - 12,000 lbs. (dry); 1999 - 2150 lbs. (dry); a recent case was made where a poacher was caught with approximately 500 lbs. (dry) on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina (Corbin pers. comm.).

Habitat conversion and development are significant direct threats (Dellinger pers. comm., Kauffman pers. comm., Kunsman pers. comm., Pittman pers. comm.). Equally significant threats include habitat fragmentation, and to a lesser degree displacement by exotic species.

Given its more specific siting requirements, this species may prove more difficult to cultivate than C. racemosa (Suggs pers. comm.).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: The plant is speculated to be declining globally, considering the likelihood of impact from recent collection pressures (Kauffman pers. comm., Suggs pers. comm.) and the development of mountainous areas in portions of its range (Dellinger pers. comm.). Monitoring would be necessary in order to determine whether species is stable or declining.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: This species is primarily endemic to the southern and central Appalachian region, from northern Georgia to western Pennsylvania (Weakley 1996), and a disjunction to southern Illinois (USDA-NRCS 1999). There are also a few disjunct occurrences in some of the diabase outcrops in the piedmont of South Carolina (Pittman pers. comm.). It is known from one county in the Allegheny Plateau of Maryland (Frye pers. comm.).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States GA, IL, KY, MD, NC, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IL Carroll (17015)
MD Garrett (24023)
PA Bedford (42009), Blair (42013), Cambria (42021), Fayette (42051), Indiana (42063), Somerset (42111), Westmoreland (42129)
SC Greenville (45045)*, Pickens (45077)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Upper West Branch Susquehanna (02050201)+*, Upper Juniata (02050302)+, Raystown (02050303)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+
03 Saluda (03050109)+*, Seneca (03060101)+*
05 Middle Allegheny-Redbank (05010006)+, Conemaugh (05010007)+, Kiskiminetas (05010008)+, Cheat (05020004)+, Youghiogheny (05020006)+
07 Apple-Plum (07060005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A perennial herb with a large, compound basal leaf; fertile stems with a narrow panicle of flowers, to 1.5 meters tall. Flowers are white in color.
Ecology Comments: Transplanted individuals have been reported to survive a couple of decades (Pittillo pers. comm.).
Habitat Comments: This species is found in rich coves and rich northern hardwoods forests. It is restricted to elevations above approximately 2500 ft toward the southern end of its range (Dellinger pers. comm., Pittillo pers. comm.). In the northern portion of its range, it is found in cool, moist areas with northern hardwoods, occasionally with hemlock, typically on north-facing slopes or in wooded stream corridors (Kunsman pers. comm.). Outlying populations in the piedmont of South Carolina are in association with steep coves among diabase rock outcrops (Pittman pers. comm.).
Economic Attributes
Help
Economically Important Genus: Y
Economic Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG
Production Method: Wild-harvested
Economic Comments: It is not known whether this species has similar bioactive compounds to C. racemosa (Blakley pers. comm., Suggs pers. comm.).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Jan2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: John R. Boetsch (1/00); rev. Eric Nielsen (1/00)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • APSU Center for Field Biology and University of Tennessee Herbarium. 1999. October 6-last update. Atlas of Tennessee Vascular Plants. Online. Available: http://www.bio.utk.edu/botany/herbarium/vascular/atlas.html. Accessed 2000-Jan.

  • Brumback, W.E., and L.J. Mehrhoff. 1996. Flora Conservanda: New England. The New England Plant Conservation Program list of plants in need of conservation. Rhodora 98 (895): 235-361.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 3. Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiii + 590 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada, Second ed. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY. 910 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles, and C. R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 1183 pp.

  • Ramsey, G.W. 1987. Morphological considerations in the North American CIMICIFUGA (Ranunculaceae). Castanea 52:129-141.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1999. November 3-last update. The PLANTS database. Online. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/plants. Accessed 2000-Jan.

  • Weakley, A.S. 1996. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia: working draft of 23 May 1996. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Southern Conservation Science Dept., Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Unpaginated.

  • Weakley, A.S. 2011. Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Working draft of 25 May 2011. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), NC Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.