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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.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#partial shade#perennial#medicinal#rhizomes#native wildflower
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#partial shade#perennial#medicinal#rhizomes#native wildflower
  • 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
    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:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    berry-like, crimson
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Solitary, with many stamens and pistils and no petals
  • 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
    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