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Caulophyllum thalictroides Arkansas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Ordo: Ranunculales

Familia: Berberidaceae
Subfamilia: Nandinoideae
Genus: Caulophyllum
Species: Caulophyllum thalictroides

Caulophyllum thalictroides (L.) Michx., 1803

Leontice thalictroides L.


Caulophyllum thalictroides Regel = Caulophyllum robustum Maxim.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
USA (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia), Canada (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Michaux, A. 1803. Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1:205.
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]


Hassler, M. 2019. Caulophyllum thalictroides. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Apr. 24. Reference page. 
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Caulophyllum thalictroides. Published online. Accessed: Apr. 24 2019.
The Plant List 2013. Caulophyllum thalictroides in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Apr. 24.
Tropicos.org 2019. Caulophyllum thalictroides. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 24 Apr. 2019.

Vernacular names
English: Blue cohosh

Caulophyllum thalictroides, the blue cohosh, a species of Caulophyllum (family Berberidaceae) is a flowering plant in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family. It is a medium-tall perennial with blue berry-like fruits and bluish-green foliage. The name cohosh is probably from an Algonquian word meaning "rough".


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 forests and favors moist coves and hillsides, generally in shady locations, in rich soil. It grows in eastern North America, from Manitoba and Oklahoma east to the Atlantic Ocean.

Some bees visit the petals' nectar glands early in the season.[1]

The plant has been used as a medicinal herb by American Indians.[2] Many Native American tribes, and later European herbologists and mid-wives,[3] would use this herb in conjunction with other herbs and fluids for abortive and contraceptive purposes.[4]

The seeds have also reportedly been used a coffee substitute.[1]

See also

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


Niering, William A.; Olmstead, Nancy C. (1985) [1979]. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Knopf. p. 416. ISBN 0-394-50432-1.
Cichoke, Anthony J. (2001). Secrets of Native American herbal remedies: a comprehensive guide to the Native American tradition of using herbs and the mind/body/spirit connection for improving health and well-being. Penguin. pp. Blue Cohosh. ISBN 1-58333-100-X.
Henriettesherbal. "Herbal Abortives and Birth Control". Henriettes-herb.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
Sisterzeus. "Blue Cohosh". Sisterzeus.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012.

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