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Caulophyllum thalictroides
Blue cohosh in a Michigan deciduous forest
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Berberidaceae
Tribe: Leonticeae
Genus: Caulophyllum
Species: C. thalictroides
Binomial name
Caulophyllum thalictroides
(L.) Michaux

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) a species of Caulophyllum and family Berberidaceae, also called squaw root (which often is used for the parasitic flowering plant, Conopholis americana) or papoose root, is a flowering plant in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family. It is a medium-tall perennial with blue berry-like fruits and bluish-green foliage.

Inflorescence
Fruits

Contents

Uses

It was used as a medicinal herb by American Indians, and can also be used as a dietary supplement that can induce labor, regulate menstrual flow, suppress menstruation, and ease the pain and difficulty that accompany childbirth. Many Native American tribes and later European herbologists and mid-wives would use this herb in conjunction with other herbs and fluids for abortive and contraceptive purposes. As such, this herb should not be taken during pregnancy.

Characteristics

From the single stalk rising from the ground, there is a single, large, three-branched leaf plus a fruiting stalk. The bluish-green leaflets are tulip-shaped, entire at the base but serrate at the tip. Its species name, thalictroides, comes from the similarity between the large highly divided, multiple-compound leaves of Meadow-rue (Thalictrum) and those of Blue Cohosh.

It is found in hardwood forest of the eastern United States, and favors moist coves and hillsides, generally in shady locations, in rich soil.

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa), although similarly named, is actually a plant in a separate genus.

Blue Cohosh grows in eastern North America, from Manitoba and Oklahoma east to the Atlantic Ocean.

See also

External links

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Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Caulophyllum thalictroides

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Unassigned Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales
Familia: Berberidaceae
Subfamilia: Berberidoideae
Tribus: Leonticeae
Genus: Caulophyllum
Species: Caulophyllum thalictroides

Name

Caulophyllum thalictroides (L.) Michx.

Vernacular names

English: Blue cohosh

References

  • Fl. bor.-amer. 1:205. 1803
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]

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