Black Cohosh in the Blue Ridge

It may not look like much, but this is a stand of Black Cohosh we discovered a few weeks ago on the Blue Ridge. It was an honor to step into this plant's genomic homeland - old, tall oaks kept the forest floor cool and moist. It was still and quiet. And all down the hillside spread the Cohosh, at all stages of growth, its seedheads full and ripe.
We grow this plant up here in Vermont, but I could tell how much more at home it felt down in the rich soil of North Carolina. Black Cohosh is traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory for autoimmune conditions (antirheumatic) and has recently gotten a lot of attention as a helpful aid in menopause: I find it seems to help most with the "hot flash" symptoms (again, perhaps, echoing its ability to control "heat" in the body).
It was so well established in this wild patch! I could feel the large, tangled roots just under the leaf litter. The sheer biomass of it was overwhelming. All I could do was hold some seeds in my hand for a few minutes, sit with the plants, scatter the seeds and get on my way. I promised to return for a longer stay in the wilds of the Blue Ridge.

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