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How to Grow Caulophyllum Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Blue Cohosh

Caulophyllum is a hardy perennial that reaches heights of 50 to 90 cm.

They have compound juvenile leaves of blue-green, and green adult leaves, and bloom in May, and then produce pretty fruits of blue.

Caulophyllum plants have the common names of Blue Cohosh, papoose root and squaw root. Latin names include Caulophyllum thalictroides.

Caulophyllum thalictroides
Caulophyllum thalictroides (Blue Cohosh) by Jason Hollinger.

Caulophyllum
Caulophyllum; Blue Cohosh Berries by Joshua Mayer.

Caulophyllum Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Blue Cohosh, Papoose Root, Squaw Root.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial
Height: 18 to 36 inches (45 to 90 cm).
Native: Northern America, East Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 4 to 7.
Flowers: Late spring.
Flower Details: Inconspicuous.
Fruit: Blue.
Foliage: Blue-green to green. Lobed. Compound.
Sow Outside: Grow from roots.
Roots: 1 inch (2.5 cm) Start of autumn. Spacing 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm).
Sow Inside: No
Requirements: Partial or full shade. Deep soil, wood like soil, moist soil. pH 4.5 to 6.5. Winter mulch. Water to keep soil moist at all times. Supply a leaf mulch to maintain moisture. Once established do not disturb. Propagate: by dividing Caulophyllum in the spring or at the start of autumn. Or take rhizome cuttings.
Miscellaneous: Often used for alternative medical use, especially with childbirth and menstrual issues. The plant is poisonous, and should especially be avoided by pregnant women.

How to Grow Caulophyllum

Blue Cohosh and other Caulophyllum plants should be grown outdoors. Plant the roots at a depth of 2.5cm into a moist, wood soil of pH 4.5 to 7. They should be spaced at about 30 to 40cm apart and grown in shady areas.

Caring for Blue Cohosh

Further plants can be created by dividing the plants in early autumn or by taking cuttings from the roots (complete with rhizomes). Do not eat these plants as many people have used blue cohosh to induce labor!

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Caulophyllum plants. Updated September 2020.


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