Origin: Houston County, Minnesota
Improvement status: Wild
Seeds per packet: 10
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
Blue Cohosh is a beautiful Eastern North American perennial woodland plant. It bears a resemblance to Black Cohosh (which is actually in an entirely different family) and Ginseng. It is more closely related to mayapple and berberis. It has pretty little yellow flowers followed by striking blue berry-like fruits. It is visited by native bees in the spring seeking nectar from the petal's nectar glands. The seeds have reportedly been used as a coffee substitute, and there is a long history of medicinal use. Blue Cohosh is commonly available as a supplement, but you should exercise a great deal of caution if you're considering using this plant, as it is a powerful plant that can also be dangerous, particularly for pregnant women (it has a history of being used in concert with other herbs to induce miscarriage). If you have a nice shady spot for woodland perennials, this is a great native plant to add to your landscape.
Our seed comes from our friend Kyle Johnson who harvested it from the wild in Houston County of southeastern Minnesota's Driftless region. In addition to foraging for wild seed, Kyle also manages a successful organic apple orchard and a for-contract, land-management, traveling goat grazing business.
GROWING TIPS: Blue cohosh is actually best planted in the fall outdoors. But, we currently store these seeds in the fridge, to attempt to mimic the cold-stratification that they would receive outdoors. We recommend that you keep these seeds in the fridge until prior to planting. You can try to plant them in the spring after being in a fridge all winter, and it may well work, but they tend to do better fall planted outdoors. You could try direct seeding in the ground or starting some in potting soil in trays or pots...we don't have the experience to tell you either way. Let us know what works for you.