Black Cohosh

photo: http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~ghamel/gardenpictures.html

I. Cimicifuga racemosa
(L.) Nutt. 
Black Snakeroot.  Black Cohosh

Acteaa racemosa L. Sp. Pl. 504. 1753
Cimicifuga Racemosa Nutt. Gen. 2: 15. 1818.
Cimicifuga racemosa dissecta A. Gray, Man. Ed., 6, 47. 1890.

Stem slender, 3°-8° high, leafy above ; rootstock thick.  Leaves ternate, the divisions pinnate and the ultimate leaflets often again compound ; leaflets ovate or oblong, or the terminal one obovate, acute, or sometimes obtushish at the apex, narrowed, truncate or the lower subcordate at the base, incisely-toothed, cleft, divided, or occasionally dissected, thickish, nearly glabrous ; racemes compound, terminal, 6'-3° long, usually finely pubescent ; pedicels bracted ; flowers 6"-7" broad, foetid ; petals 4-8, 2-cleft ; stamens very numerous ; pistils 1 or 2, sessile ; stigma broad, follicles oval, 3"-4" long, minutely beaked ; seeds in 2 rows, smooth, flattened.

In woods, Maine and Ontario to Wisconsin, south to Georgia and Missouri.  Ascends to 4000 feet in North Carolina.  Rich-weed.  Rattle-weed.  Rattle-snakeroot.  Rattle-top or -root.  June-Aug.

Cimicifuga racemosa





Black Cohosh root
Drawing from Wild Roots, A Forager's Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Roots, Tubers, Corms, and Rhizomes of North America
Doug Elliot.  Healing Arts Press, Rochester, Vermont (1995)