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Thursday - April 21, 2005

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Smarty Plants on Blue Cohosh
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I acquired a potted plant of Blue Cohosh at a sale. My question is where can I plant it? I live in Seattle but also garden in Zone 5 at Lake Wenatchee Washington. Shade or sun? How hardy is it?

ANSWER:

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is not native to your Northwest area, but it is native to most of the rest of the continental United States and eastern Canada. It should do fine in Zone 5 planted in the shade in rich moist soil. Select "Growing Conditions" from the menu at the top of the page for blue cohosh in our Native Plants Database to learn more about growing it. Two of the common names for it, papoose root or squaw root, reflect its herbal use for childbirth and women's problems by Native Americans; but, be advised that it is also listed on the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database as being mildly toxic.

 

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