The name is meant to evoke the coloring of the foliage but gives no hint of the impact this plant has on the viewer. From one end of the growing season to the other, 'Brunette' is a fountain of fernlike, deep purple foliage that jumps out at the eye from surrounding greens, and when the arching, purple-tinted white flower spikes rise up on 5' stems in early fall, the rest of the garden seems to genuflect in the presence of this regal perennial.
The genus Cimicifuga is a useful source of tall border plants that grow in evenly moist soil and full sun to partial shade. They have large, divided leaves and flower spikes that resemble bottlebrushes. The common name, Bugbane, comes from the scent of the flowers, which is said to repel insects.
Sun: Part shade to full shade