This fascinating plant emerges from the soil in April. The shoots are purplish blue and very attractive. They soon give way to bluish green leaves. The leaves are thrice compound and rounded at the tip. The leaves look like many but really are just one many divided one. There are usually really only two or three leaves on a plant.
The flowers are brownish yellow and not really showy but unusual enough for to bring on the wow factor, something unique for your garden. They are early and because people are out in there garden in the early spring looking for spring they are pleasantly surprised by the lovely flowers.
The plant is very bushy and if you want berries it is best to plant them in mass as the pistils and stamens on the same plant mature at different times. This means you need at least one other plant to pollinate and assure berries. To make sure I would go with no less that 5.
The seeds and roots are poisonous. A lot of plants are, please educate your children and others not to eat these berries. The berries are very attractive and even in a very dry year hang on the plant after the foliage is dry. Lovely to look at.
This plant can be propagated from division of root stock, making sure each piece has at least 1 eye. They can also be grown from seed. The seed coat is very hard. You could scarify them by nicking the seed coat. This may make them germinate quicker. I plant them about 1/2 inch deep. I use a market pack fiber container fill with seed staring mix.
Be prepared to wait though they usually germinate the 3rd spring after planting. The plant grows quickly the first year.
Caulophyllum thalictroides - Blue cohosh
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-Lovely bright blue berries in August
-Height: 1 to 3 feet tall
-Zone: 3 to 8