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Coptis trifolia - (L.)Salisb.

Common Name Goldthread, Threeleaf goldthread
Family Ranunculaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
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    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Coptis trifolia Goldthread, Threeleaf goldthread


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Coptis trifolia Goldthread, Threeleaf goldthread
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Summary


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).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 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: acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

C. groenlandica. (Oeder.)Fern.

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.

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].

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].

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].

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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

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Salisb.

Botanical References

58200270

Links / References

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