Every year, I order Cimicifuga ramosa (aka Actea, Bugbane, Black Cohosh or Black Snakeroot). Every year, it dies. I try different locations, different light exposures, different soil blends. No dice. This has been going on for about three years.
Well, make that four...I just ordered another one, this time from Garden Crossings, a company with an excellent feedback rating on Garden Watchdog. Maybe this one will take - many times, Cimicifuga is listed as only enduring temperatures into Zone 7, but Garden Crossings shows this particular cultivar - 'Hillside Black Beauty' - as hardy in zones 4-8. I am determined to grow this plant, dammit!
Incidentally, Garden Crossings is offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more through 6/26. You can also get 10% off if you order $150 or more, in addition to free shipping.