Alexis wrote today’s entry:
Today’s photo was taken by Robert Klips (Orthotrichum@Flickr) in Delaware County, Ohio. Thank you, Robert! A member of Berberidaceae, the green-yellow flowers of Caulophyllum thalictroides can be seen in bloom in the wild in April and May.
Caulophyllum thalictroides is more commonly known as blue cohosh, papoose-root, or squawroot. This species is a forb/herb native to eastern North America, growing in forests with moist rich soils and near streams. Plants eventually produce dark blue berries.
Historically, Caulophyllum thalictroides has been used medicinally, including use as an antispasmodic and diuretic. It is also an emmenagogue, promoting blood flow to the uterus and pelvic area. In fact, Native American peoples traditionally made a tea made from its roots to induce childbirth through uterine contractions and to relieve menstrual cramps. Additionally, many ailments such as rheumatism, epilepsy, bronchitis, and hysteria have also been treated with Caulophyllum thalictroides in the past. Roasting then boiling its seeds in water can produce a drink similar to coffee (Grieve’s A Modern Herbal (1971). However, the species contains cell-damaging chemicals and can irritate the skin and mucous membranes.