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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - May 05, 2010

From: Lewisville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Medicinal Plants
Title: How to grow Blue Cohosh in Lewisville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I bought Blue Cohosh seeds from an online website, but I do not know how or where to plant them and what will guarantee germination, and the instructions that came with the package are very vague. The package contained five seeds (they look like little blueberries). What should I do, and will I be able to grow these? I live in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex.

ANSWER:

You can follow our plant link on Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh) to our page on that plant in our Native Plant Database. The plant is not native to Texas; it does grow as close as Oklahoma and Arkansas and then way up in the northeast and up into Canada, so it may object to the heat in Texas. About the only information we could find in our database on the seeds was this line from the webpage:


"Seed Treatment: Scarifying seeds by nicking the seed coat will hasten germination."

While this has been used as a folk medicine, we would also caution as to its toxic qualities. We would not recommend that any portion of it be ingested for any reason, except under close medical supervision.  

 

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