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Green Medicine > 2006 North Carolina Inventory & Monitoring Project

2006 Medicinal Plant Working Group - Garden Club of America
Partners for Plants Proposal
Native Medicinal Plant Inventory & Monitoring

Title: Black Cohosh, Actaea racemosa (syn. Cimicifuga racemosa)
Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala 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; See Annex I) 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 (see Annex IV for a summary of work at this site). 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
  • 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 2006 study: The project will take place in Buncombe County at 2 separate sites in the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest. The field days for both sites will run concurrently on September 10-13th.

2006 Field Days:

  • Snowball Mtn. & Stoney Fork, Pisgah National Forest, NC: Sept. 10-12 Confirmed
  • Nantahala National Forest, NC: Sept. 10 and 13 Confirmed

In addition there will be a day of training for volunteer team leaders. This will be coordinated by the on-site US Forest Service Botanist, Gary Kauffman, GCA Site Coordinators, Anne Abbott, Pisgah and Mimsie Lanier, Nantahalah.

Volunteer Needs and Physical Requirements: The project can accommodate a minimum of 20-25 GCA volunteers per site. Each monitoring team will consist of one team leader (either GCA volunteer, contract botanist or site coordinators) and up to three GCA 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 (Pisgah), Mimsie Lanier (Nantahala) or Gary Kauffman.

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Last Updated: 31-Jul-2006