Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Blue Cohosh
Give a thumbs up Caulophylle faux-pigamon
Give a thumbs up Papoose-root
Give a thumbs up Squaw-root
Give a thumbs up Papooseroot
Give a thumbs up Papoose Root
Give a thumbs up Blueberry Root
Give a thumbs up Blue Ginseng

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 12 - 24 inches
Plant Spread: 12 - 24 inches
Leaves: Good fall color
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Other: Chartreuse
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Seed germination can take a few years and the seedlings are hypogeal, the cotyledons remaining underground after germination and seedling emergence, the seedlings need a few years of growth before they are large enough to flower.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Root

some plants along a path

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jul 3, 2018 4:31 PM

I finally saw Blue Cohosh for myself at the Mount Cuba Center in northern Delaware, as they have some excellent groups of it in their woodsy landscapes. I don't know of it being sold at conventional garden centers but some native plant nurseries sell it as seed or plants. I have not really seen it in the wild myself so far; so despite a good sized range, it is not found everywhere commonly. It is a member of the Barberry Family that has a good sized native range in eastern North America from southeast Canada & Maine down to northern Alabama to northern Arkansas then up through Minnesota a little into Canada and then back eastward again. It has pretty meadowrue-like foliage and bright blue berries. I believe it has yellow-colored rhizomes so it should spread by those underground root-like stems. It grows in part to light full shade in moist, rich soils. It is a handsome perennial.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
wow! by crittergarden Jul 20, 2018 4:44 PM 1
Is this Red Baneberry? by JHeirloomSeeds Jun 3, 2019 11:08 AM 14
recalcitrant and semi-recalcitrant* seeds by Leftwood Dec 3, 2019 6:57 AM 19
Chicagoland Annual garden swap 2017 by oerickson Aug 25, 2017 10:41 AM 303
Poisonous? by Smaddock May 12, 2016 7:08 PM 7
Lilies in Bloom 2015 by pardalinum Dec 10, 2015 9:22 AM 854
Wild Fruits for the Wild Critters by JuneOntario Nov 24, 2013 9:45 AM 127

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