Sunday, July 10, 2011
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is currently in flower off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's easily recognizable by its 3-8 ft tall flower stalks with tassel-like white flowers and coarsely toothed leaflets. The fetid smelling flowers attract carrion flies and beetles which function as pollinators. In a pinch, you can rub the flowers on your exposed skin to ward off mosquitoes; however, in so doing you may attract carrion flies and beetles which think you're dead meat (not to worry, they don't bite).