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Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
Image ID: 2013/ahgh101Tap/mouseover and drag to zoom/pan.
Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry)
Height: 1 to 3 ft.
Blooms: April to June
Leaf Type: divided
Bloom Size: 0.5 in. (typical)
Flower Description: Individual flowers, Regular blooms, 6 parts
Location: Allegheny Highlands Trail
Notes: Immature leaves are purple-black in color.
More photos of this flower
Folklore, History, and Other Facts
Blue cohosh was used by Native American women as a contraceptive (http://www.sisterzeus.com/BlueCoh.htm).
The following information is taken from my great-grandmother's copy of The Herbalist (1918). This information is presented for historic purposes only, as many remedies recommended by this book are toxic!
We started out as wildflowers from the bicycle trails of western Pennsylvania, but we've grown!
Meyer, Joseph E. (1918). The Herbalist and Herb Doctor. Hammond, Ind.: Indiana Herb Gardens. 400 pp.