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Xanthorhiza simplicissima - Marshall.

Common Name Yellowroot
Family Ranunculaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards The root, when taken in high doses, is potentially toxic[222].
Habitats Shaded stream banks, moist woods, thickets, and rocky ledges from sea level to 1200 metres[270].
Range Eastern N. America - New York to West Virginia and south to Florida and Alabama.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Xanthorhiza simplicissima Yellowroot


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Xanthorhiza simplicissima Yellowroot
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Xanthorhiza simplicissima is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from March to April. 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 full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

X. apiifolia. Zanthorrhiza apiifolia.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

None known

References

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.
Antihaemorrhoidal  Astringent  Stomachic  Tonic

The root is astringent and a blood tonic[222]. A tea made from the roots is used to treat mouth ulcers[213], stomach ulcers, colds, jaundice etc[222, 257]. An infusion of the roots has also been used to treat piles, though the report does not specify if it is used internally or externally[257]. Some caution is advised in the use of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity. The root contains the alkaloid 'berberine' which is used for its tonic properties and for digestive disorders[213]. Berberine is anti-inflammatory, astringent, haemostatic, antispasmodic, immuno-stimulant, uterine tonic and antimicrobial[222]. It stimulates the secretion of bile and bilirubin and may be helpful in correcting high tyramine levels in people with liver cirrhosis[222].

References

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Other Uses

Dye

A yellow dye is obtained from the root[46, 61]. The entire plant can be crushed to yield a yellow dye[257]. A good ground cover for damp semi-shaded positions[11, 200]. Plants should be spaced about 1.2 metres apart each way[208].

Special Uses

Ground cover

References

Cultivation details

Requires a moist acid soil in sun or part shade[184]. Prefers shade or semi-shade[188]. Succeeds in any moist fertile soil according to other reports[1, 182, 200]. Hardy to about -20°c[184]. Plants can spread considerably by means of suckers[182], especially when they are growing in a light soil[208]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].

References

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[200]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame in late winter. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in the autumn or late winter[11].

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
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

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.

 

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Expert comment

Author

Marshall.

Botanical References

11200270

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

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