The other blue cohosh
And here's the rest of the story, as Harvey used to say. This is the original blue cohosh, described by Michaux in 1803. It's less colorful, and blooms when the leaves are mostly mature. At the bottom of the image you can see an exposed ovary and pistil, where the petals have fallen away. The pistil is one mm or less long. Definitely not giganteum! The seeds of both blue cohosh can be used as a caffiene free coffee substitute. The roots have long been effectively used to ease childbirth and for menstrual issues. This cohosh grows in AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN(T), VA, VT, WI, WV, MB, NB, NS, ON, and QC. Ingham Co MI, 4/12/12.