Caulophyllum thalictroides / Blue Cohosh

Blue cohosh is a perennial herb found in rich, moist forests. It epitomizes the combination of aerial grace and belowground tenacity that characterizes much of the old growth forest flora. Of especial visual interest are its bright cerulean fruits borne in panicles over its symmetrically whorled compound leaves.

In landscaping, blue cohosh is an attractive foliage plant and can be planted in masses in the forest garden understory. It spreads slowly by rhizomes to form colonies.

Form: Medium-sized herb

Height: 1.5′ – 3′

Blooms: May

Siting: In part shade to shade, mesic to moist soils

Deer Resistance: Medium. Plant is sometimes browsed while in fruit and deer may be important dispersal agents.

Provenance: NJ/PA



Wildlife Associations: The flowers are pollinated by a variety of beneficial insects including parasitoid wasps, small bees, bumblebees, and various flies. The fruits are consumed by birds as well as some mammal species including deer.

Restoration: Secondary species for augmenting long-lived herbaceous diversity in mesic to moist mature forest understories

Herbalism: Used as a birthing tonic, as well as for fevers, cramps, and rheumatism in Native American traditions. This herb continues to be used as a uterine tonic and prenatal herb in contemporary herbal practice.

Edibility: Not edible

Other uses: Unknown


Additional information


Quart, Bare Root