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Bruso, George H.
Hydrastis canadensis L.
USDA Symbol: hyca
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Goldenseal becomes 6-12 in. tall, usually bearing three maple-like, shiny-green leaves. The stem is terminated by a single, white flower with yellow stamens followed by a tight cluster of red fruit. 1 large, wrinkled, basal leaf and a hairy stalk bearing 1 flower above a pair of 5-lobed stem leaves, all rising from a yellow, underground stem.
Lacking petals and losing the sepals early, the flowers of this species owe their color to the many whitish stamens. The plant was used medicinally by Native Americans and colonists and is still in use today, ranking with American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) of the ginseng family (Araliaceae) as one of the most collected of eastern North American medicinal herbs. Its current rarity is due at least in part to overcollection.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May
AL , AR , CT , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , PA , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
VT to MI & MN, s. to VA, mts. of GA, AL, TN & AR Native Habitat:
Deep, rich woods USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) Soil Description:
Moist, humus-rich soil. Conditions Comments:
leaf winter cover is desirable. A good ground cover for moist, shady places. The knotty yellow rhizomes are used in medicine and have been collected so extensively that the plant is nearly exterminated.
Easily propagated by seed, division or root cuttings. To propagate by division, divide the rhizomes when the plant is dormant. To grow from seed, sow fresh seed and cover lightly with leafmold. Keep the seeds moist; they will stratify by themselves. G Seed Collection:
Collect the berry
as soon as it turns scarlet and separate the seeds from the pulp. Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DE
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Record Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff