found growing in a woods around Traverse City , MI -- the leaves remind me of columbine
Being as you are closer to my Hardiness Zone, it's likely to be BLUE COHASH. It's not related to columbine that I know of but is from the barberry family. My whole back yard is full of it and it makes the prettiest blue-black berries in summer that drop by late fall to produce many more plants. It fills the wooded part of my back yard just as a ground cover would only it's 12-16" tall. I love it! :o)
There is apparently also "Black Cohash" but I'm not familiar with it, so maybe someone else can fill you in on that species as well as it's range. As far as I know, we don't have the black cohash here in southern Ontario but I could be wrong.
Spelled as Blue Cohosh.
Here in Georgia, we mostly have Black Cohosh.
Here is a link that might be useful: Caulophyllum thalictroides
*giggles* I've been spelling it wrong since we've lived here??? ;o)
Thanks Esh... I likely would have kept spelling it wrong if nobody pointed it out.
Is Black Cohosh's range more to the southerly part of the continent?
No problem, Barb. What really surprised ME was that the botanical names are so different! I guess I'd never looked up the botanical name for Blue Cohosh.
Apparently, Georgia is the southernmost part of Black Cohosh's range. I have never seen Blue Cohosh in the wild here, but find Black on a regular basis.
Black Cohosh is a much larger plant, made even more taller when the very tall bloom spike arrives.
Here is a link that might be useful: Black cohosh
Thanks for the link Esh. MY LORD! Those black cohOsh (giggles)don't look much like the blue ones at all save for a similar "general" appearance on the green part of the plant. Those flower spikes are OVER THE TOP! ahahahaa...they are at least a foot taller than ME...good heavens.
I wish I had a North American Wild flower book that shows "range maps" like most Bird identification manuals do. Do you know of any that show range maps as well as all the other typical info?
Southern Ontario, CANADA Zone 6a
There is some range information on this US database (may not help YOU).
Here is a link that might be useful: USDA