Coptis trifolia (L.) Salisb.
Threeleaf goldthread, Three-leaf goldthread, Canker root
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Small and slender, this woodland perennial
bears a single flower at the end of a 6 in., leafless stalk. Each flower has four to seven, petal-like sepals
tinged with purple on their outer surface, and numerous white stamens. Basal, evergreen
leaves, divided into three leaflets, occur on long petioles.
The common name refers to the golden-yellow underground stem
that both Native
Americans and colonists chewed to treat mouth sores (hence another common name for the plant, Canker-root). It was also made into a tea for use as an eyewash.
Image Gallery: 7 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
AK , CT , IN , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OR , PA , RI , VT , WV , WI Canada: MB
, PE Native Distribution:
Lab. to Man., s. to NJ, WV mts., n. OH & n. IN Native Habitat:
Mossy woods & swamps USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, cold, acid soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available