Sponsoring Organization: Maryland Native Plant Society, Western Mountains Chapter
Topic: Medicinal compounds in flowering and nonflowering wild-harvested black cohosh
Speaker: Amanda Vickers, Graduate Student, Department of Biology, Frostburg University
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is a perennial herb native to deciduous woodlands in Eastern North America used traditionally as a specific remedy for musculoskeletal pain and to support uterine function. Today, extracts of black cohosh are marketed primarily for use in relieving hot flashes with a majority of the raw material supplying this global market being harvested from naturally occurring wild populations in Appalachian woodlands. In Maryland and throughout the Appalachians, a vegetatively similar but threatened species American bugbane (A. podocarpa) is concurrent and threatened by accidental collection due to confusion with black cohosh. This research addresses whether harvesting only flowering individuals could allow a wild harvester to increase the yield of medicinal compounds per harvested plant creating an economic incentive to simultaneously insure correct identification and protect threatened species.
Program will begin immediately following a brief MNPS chapter business meeting.
Directions: From I-68 take exit 33 (Braddock Rd & Midlothian Rd exit). Follow Braddock Road approximately .2 miles to the entrance to the Appalachian Lab on the left side of the road (301 Braddock Road). There is plenty of parking in front of the building.