Botanical Name: Caulophyllum thalictroides
En Français: Caulophylle
Blue cohosh is an attractive wildflower, with an unusual display of the spherical blue fruits held stiffly above the leaf canopy. The roots were widely used my Native Americans as an herbal medicine to treat a range of ailments and as a general tonic. However, the plant contains chemicals that can cause cell damage.
There are two species of Blue Cohosh: Caulophyllum thalictroides and Caulophyllum giganteum. Caulophyllum thalictroides (Blue Cohosh) generally has lighter greenish flowers which bloom after the leaves have opened. Caulophyllum giganteum (Giant Blue Cohosh) has dark purple/red flowers which open with or before the leaves.
Planting and Care Considerations
Blue cohosh is a forest herb, and therefore requires conditions that mimic a forest floor including shading and mulch.
Plants may be grown from seed, but usually will not flower until the third or fourth year. May be divided, but established plants are generally best left undisturbed.
Water: Contant humidity.
Best Soil: rich, moist, neutral to slightly acidic soils
Flowers get replaced with blue berries in the late summer.
Blue cohosh is used for medicinal purposes (anticonvulsant, antirheumatic, febrifuge, emetic, sedative, and most notably, a gynecologic aid) but has the potential to poison people especially children.