People are always interested in medicinal plants, and there are a lot of plants around here with reputed medicinal properties. In times past, when American Indians and early settlers were the plateau’s only inhabitants, they found medicinal uses for many, many plants. The ones that seemed most helpful were often dubbed “cohosh.” So far, modern science has not found all of the cohoshes to have medicinal properties, but here’s one that looks promising: black cohosh, Cimicifuga racemosa. Specifically, extracts from this plant are being studied — and sold — for their ability to relieve symptoms of menopause.
The jury’s still out on its usefulness, but its beauty is unquestionable. The plant is blooming now, mainly in forest openings and dappled sunlight, and it’s unmistakeable — the tall white inflorescences soar above the plant’s vegetation like candles, wafting in the slightest breeze. This plant was photographed in a garden bed while still in bud, but you get the idea!