Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)

Black cohoshThe white blooms of Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) are striking during mid-summer days.  Not only are they visually beautiful, they also emit a strong, unpleasant smell which can fill the surrounding woods on a warm day.

Here are the basal leaves of a mature plant, along with two glaucous flower stalks rising above those leaves.

Black cohoshThe tall flower stalk typically splits into several racemes of flowers.  This next image shows those racemes with flower buds.  (Note:  most of the leaves in the background belong to Wild hydrangea and not Black cohosh.)

Black cohosh

Watch this video to see close images of the Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) flowers which do not have any petals, to study the plant in all seasons of its perennial life cycle and to view the roots of this medicinal plant.

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3 Responses to Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)

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  3. George says:

    wonderful description of the plant…I have seen it many times and did not know what it was. I have always heard of foraging of the plant for the roots and being sold for medicinal purpose….thanks

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