Thursday, July 07, 2011
A black cohosh by any other name
This year I have the plant all over the place, including many plants along the edge of my driveway, where I took this photo. It is native to North America and is one of those alleged to cure a multitude of ills. It is considered to be a plant suited to mainly women’s ills, mostly for menopause symptoms, but also for some more general uses, often for arthritis.
Since there’s nothing black about the flower or the leaves, I’m guessing the root, which is what is used for medicinal purposes, must be black, though I’ve never pulled one up out of the ground to check. Personally, I prefer the name rattleweed since the flower resembles a rattlesnake’s tail more than anything. The names bugbane and bugwort are accurate, too. Bugs don’t like this plant for some reason.
I just like the way the flowers look. The flowers are not the common shape of flowers, and each rattle is about 4-6 inches long, so it’s a showy plant too. And this year there are plenty of them around to see.