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Coptis trifolia - (L.)Salisb.

Common Name Goldthread, Threeleaf goldthread
Family Ranunculaceae
USDA hardiness 2-7
Known Hazards Although no specific mention of toxicity has been found for this species, it belongs to a family that contains many species that are mildly toxic and so it is wise to treat this plant with some caution.
Habitats Wet to mesic, coniferous and mixed forests, bogs, willow scrub, and tundra, often associated with mosses from sea level to 1500 metres[270].
Range North, eastern and western N. America through northern Asia to Japan.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Coptis trifolia Goldthread, Threeleaf goldthread


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coptis_trifolia_01.jpg
Coptis trifolia Goldthread, Threeleaf goldthread
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Miya.m

 

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Summary

A good forest garden plant. Coptis trifolia subsp. groenlandica (Oeder) Hultén is a smaller subspecies of Coptis trifolia growing to 2-4" (5-10cm).


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Coptis trifolia is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 2. It is in leaf all year, in flower in May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. groenlandica. (Oeder.)Fern.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment

The whole plant is said to be eaten[105, 177], or it can be mixed with sassafras-root bark and Irish moss and brewed into a kind of herbal root beer[183]. This plant contributes a bitter flavour and a yellow colour to the beverage[183]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antibacterial  Antiinflammatory  Antiphlogistic  Astringent  Sedative  Skin  Stomachic  Tonic


Goldenthread is a very bitter tasting herb that was formerly highly valued and widely used in North America by the native Indians and white settlers alike, though it is little used in modern herbalism[254]. It was employed mainly to treat any soreness in the mouth[254]. The dried roots, stems and leaves are antiphlogistic, highly astringent, sedative, stomachic, tonic[4, 21, 46, 61, 207, 222]. The plant is valued as a local application in the treatment of thrush in children[4]. It is also used in the treatment of ulcerated mouths and as a gargle for sore throats or mouths[21, 46, 61, 207, 213]. It is said to be useful in the treatment of dyspepsia and helpful in combating the drink habit[4]. The plant contains the alkaloid 'berberine', which is a mild sedative[213], anti-inflammatory and antibacterial[222]. The root is collected in the autumn and dried for later use[213].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Dye

A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves and stems[207]. Can be grown as a ground cover plant in the peat garden[200].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a light moist humus-rich slightly acidic soil with a northerly aspect or light shade[1, 200]. A very ornamental plant[1]. The sub-species C. trifolia groenlandica (Syn C. groenlandica) is the form used medicinally in N. America[222]. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 7 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. An evergreen. The plant growth habit is a runner spreading indefinitely by rhizomes or stolons [1-2]. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Fahrenheit:

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in an ericaceous compost[164]. Seal the pot in a polythene bag until germination takes place, which is usually within 1 - 6 months at 10°c[164]. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible. Four weeks cold stratification may be beneficial[164]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid-autumn or in spring. Division in spring[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Coptis brachypetala Perennial0.2 -  LMSM003
Coptis chinensisHuang LianPerennial0.3 5-9  LMHSNMWe033
Coptis deltoidea Perennial0.2 -  LMHSNMWe023
Coptis japonica Perennial0.2 6-9  LMHSNM023
Coptis occidentalisIdaho goldthreadPerennial0.2 4-8  LMHSNM002
Coptis teetaYun LianPerennial0.2 -  LMHSNM123

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

(L.)Salisb.

Botanical References

58200270

Links / References

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Subject : Coptis trifolia  
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