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Joe-Ann McCoy, Jeanine M. Davis, N. Dwight Camper, Ikhlas Khan, and Avula Bharathi

Actaea racemosa L. (black cohosh), formerly Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt., is a native North American plant of the Ranunculaceae family recently reorganized based on DNA sequence analyses ( Compton and Culham, 1998 ; Hasegawa, 1993 ). With

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Hyung Jun Kim, Chris Harlow, and Mary Peet

Rhizomes of black cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.) grown in the deep woodland shade of eastern North America have been used historically as medicinals, but wild populations have declined because of collection pressure. The purpose of this study is to determine the potential for black cohosh production in perlite. Currently, cultivated plants represent just 3% of the total harvest. Perlite production should also result in clean, uniform plant material. Rhizomes were grown at 18 °C in controlled environment chambers in the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Phytotron in perlite for 42 days with fertigation 3, 6, or 12 times daily and 18.5, 21.5, or 24.5 °C root zone temperatures adjusted using heating cables. Leaf areas of the 21.5 and 24.5 °C root temperature treatments were greater than the 18.5 °C treatment. Stem number and new root number was highest in the 21.5 °C treatment. No effects of the fertigation treatments were significant. The second experiment was conducted 7 June–31 Oct. 2004 in a naturally lit temperature-controlled (22/18 °C) glass greenhouse in the NCSU Phytotron at nutrient solution EC levels of 0.7, 1.1, or 1.5 dS·m-1 and shading levels of 0%, 50%, and 75%. Highest leaf area and increase in fresh weight of the rhizomes over the experimental period was in the 50% shading treatment, but no significant effects of EC treatments were observed. Rhizome fresh weight increased 310% in the 50% shade, compared to 193% and 196% in the 0% and 75% shading treatments, respectively. In conclusion, black cohosh appears to prefer some shading during summer and 21.5 °C root temperatures. Low EC (0.7 dS·m-1) and infrequent watering (3 times daily) did not appear to limit growth in this system, but these results should be confirmed in larger studies in commercial greenhouses.

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Andrew L. Thomas, Richard J. Crawford Jr, George E. Rottinghaus, John K. Tracy, Wendy L. Applequist, Besa E. Schweitzer, Larry J. Havermann, Scott F. Woodbury, James S. Miller, Mark R. Ellersieck, and Dean E. Gray

Black cohosh ( Actaea racemosa L., Ranunculaceae) is an attractive perennial herb native to the midwestern and eastern United States. It is commonly known as Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt., but genetic data have shown that the genera Actaea

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Julia Charlotte Robinson, Guochen Yang, Sanjun Gu, and Zhongge (Cindy) Lu

the medicinal plants and ensure safe consumption in the public health forum. The purpose of this study was to evaluate sustainable growing strategies for the at-risk medicinal plant Actaea racemosa (L.), commonly called Black cohosh, that could

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Zoë E. Gardner, Lorna Lueck, and Lyle E. Craker*

Black cohosh [Actaea racemosa L.; syn. Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt], a plant native to the eastern United States, is believed to have been used as a medicinal by Native Americans for thousands of years. Currently, the root of the species is popular as a herbal remedy for the relief of menopausal symptoms. Recent estimates suggest that over 90% of the black cohosh sold is collected from the wild, resulting in an unsustainable harvest of ≈9 million individual plants per year. This study investigated the morphological variation of the plant at the population and species levels to assist plant breeders working on domestication and government agencies responsible for conservation of the species. Examination of leaves and flowers suggest morphological of the species is relatively low, but that several populations have unique morphological characteristics.

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Hussein Al-Amier, Khaled A. Nasr, Lorna Lück, and Lyle E. Craker

Black cohosh [Actaea racemosa L.; syn. Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt.] is a medicinal plant native to America and the woodlands of eastern North America. The roots and rhizomes of black cohosh, used by Native Americans to ease childbirth and treat menstrual cramps, rheumatism, headaches, coughs, asthma, and snakebites, are currently popular as an herbal remedy in the United States and Europe for the relief of discomfort associated with menopause. To determine chemical variation among populations of this perennial plant, root samples from 33 locations within the natural range of the species, ranging from Massachusetts to South Carolina and west to Missouri and Tennessee, were collected and chemically analyzed by HPLC-PDA using a C-18 reversed phase column (Phenomenex) for separation of the chemical constituents. The constituents were identified by comparison with commercial standards, including actein, methyl-beta-arabinopyranoside, caffeic acid, cimicifugoside, cimicifugoside H1, cimiracemoside A, 26 deoxyactein, ferulic acid, isoferulic acid, kaempferol, formononetin, and others. Chemically, an extract of the root and rhizome is known to contain at least three major natural product groups: cycloartenal-type triterpenes, phenolics, and flavonoids. Chemical constituents, especially formononetin, varied among the populations.

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Andrew L. Thomas, Richard J. Crawford Jr., Larry J. Havermann, Wendy L. Applequist, Besa E. Schweitzer, Scott F. Woodbury, and James S. Miller

Black cohosh [Actaea racemosa L., Cimicifuga racemosa L. (Nutt)] is a perennial herb commonly used for treatment of menopausal symptoms in humans. The increasing demand for this plant is leading to serious over-harvesting from the wild and presents an opportunity for potentially profitable cultivation. The plant produces a large rhizome, the principal medicinal organ, which appears to be especially sensitive to heavy soil, and prone to fungal attack if soil water drainage is not adequate. After an earlier crop failure (attributed to a PhytophthoraPythium disease complex) in an established black cohosh nursery bed, two experiments were conducted in the same soil to determine if certain horticultural approaches could help to avert fungal infection under less-than-ideal conditions. Treatments included single postplanting applications of the fungicide mefenoxam, transplantation in fall versus spring, and shallow (0.5 cm) versus deep (6.5 cm) placement of rhizomes. Shallow placement significantly improved long-term rhizome survival, but was still not able to compensate adequately for a poorly-drained soil. The horticultural approaches we studied do not appear to be reliable alternatives to proper site selection in the cultivation of black cohosh.

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Jeanine M. Davis

herbs including ginseng ( Panex quinquifolius L.), goldenseal ( Hydrastis canadensis L.), bloodroot ( Sanguinaria canadensis L.), and black cohosh ( Actaea racemosa L.). We also conducted annual training sessions for extension agents so they could