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Hydrastis canadensis

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
hy-DRASS-tiss kan-ah-DEN-sis
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Hydrastis canadensis, or golden seal, is a perennial herb from a thick rhizome with yellowish cell sap. It has two leaves, near the top of an unbranched stalk, that are 3- to 7-lobed. The flower is solitary, with many greenish-yellow to greenish-white stamens and pistils and no petals. The inedible fruit is berry-like, crimson.

The plant has been cultivated commercially on a small scale in the mountains as a medicinal plant due to use of the rootstock as a digestive aid, insect repellent and yellow dye. It has been listed as endangered or of special concern in North Carolina.

Habitat: Mesic (rarely drier), very nutrient-rich forests, with circumneutral soils, over calcareous or mafic rocks such as limestone, amphibolite, and dolostone, sometimes forming large colonies after canopy disturbance such as logging

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#poisonous#partial shade#perennial#medicinal#squirrels#rhizomes#native wildflower#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#flies#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#poisonous#partial shade#perennial#medicinal#squirrels#rhizomes#native wildflower#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#flies#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hydrastis
    Species:
    canadensis
    Family:
    Ranunculaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Rootstock was used as a tonic or diuretic.
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant attracts birds, bees, flies, and squirrels.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Red fruit displays from June to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Solitary, with many stamens and pistils and no petals. White flowers bloom from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2 leaves, near top of unbranched stem, 3- to 7-lobed and toothed
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, nervousness, and depression.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Isoquinoline alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems