Caulophyllum thalictroides

 Blue Cohosh Papoose root

Names and Myths

Caulophyllum Greek caulos Stem and phyllon leaf,

thalictroides like thalictrum.

Papoose root so named due to the Indians use of the plant to stimulate uterine contractions.35

Natural history / Folklore

Used by Indian’s as a parturient - to facilitate childbirth called Papoose root.2 Indians used pulverized roots to treat rheumatism, bronchitis, and menstrual cramps.19,41

Scientific evidence supports antispasmodic properties.12 Seeds have been roasted and used in place of coffee, but the berries are reported to be poisonous.32


May - June   Greenish-yellow or purple, six sepals and six petals. Two large divided bluish-green leaves. Rich woods.

Species List Family Group
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Cultivation and Garden use

The compound foliage has a airiness that combined with the cohosh's two to three foot height makes it a good background for many other flowers.68