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Green Medicine > 2005 North Carolina Inventory & Monitoring Project

2005 Medicinal Plant Working Group - Garden Club of America
Partners for Plants Proposal
Native Medicinal Plant Inventory & Monitoring

Title: Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa (Cimicifuga racemosa))
Pisgah National Forest (North Carolina)

Purpose: To utilize established partnerships between the Garden Club of America-Partners for Plants (GCA-PfP) and the Plant Conservation Alliance-Medicinal Plant Working Group (PCA-MPWG) to monitor the effect of harvest on the native medicinal plant black cohosh, Actaea racemosa, and its close relative Actaea podocarpa. While Actaea podocarpa is not the principal medicinal plant target, harvesters will often collect this species because of the difficult in vegetatively distinguishing it from Actaea racemosa. This marks the sixth year of collaborative research efforts. This project is part of a long-term data collection effort that will expand our understanding of the ecological status and sustainability of several species native to the Appalachian Mountain Chain. Nearly 100% of black cohosh is wild-harvested.


  • Monitor established sites using field monitoring protocol (see Annex II).
  • Collate and assimilate data.
  • Analyze and discuss results with project leaders, other researchers and government agencies.
  • Summarize results for GCA and other partners at the end of the field season.

In the short-term, this information will provide important census and ecological data. In the long-term, it will assist the Forest Service and other land management agencies to better determine the sustainable yields for this important medicinal plant species.

Location and date of 2005 study: The project will take place at two sites (Stoney Fork and Snowball Mountain) in Buncombe County, in the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest, on September 11, 12, and 13, 2005.

2005 Field Days: Volunteer training will be conducted on September 11th. Data collection will occur at two sites consecutively on September 12th and 13th. There may be an additional day of training for volunteer team leaders.

Volunteer Needs and Physical Requirements: The project can accommodate between 20-25 volunteers. Each monitoring team will consist of one team leader and up to three volunteers. Potential Team leaders will be selected and identified by project leaders. Volunteers who are knowledgeable regarding monitoring requirements and would like to serve as team leaders should contact either Anne Abbott or Gary Kauffman.

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Last Updated: 02-Jun-2005