Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Bruso, George H.
Goldenseal becomes 6-12 in. tall, usually bearing three maple-like, shiny-green leaves. The stem
is terminated by a single, white flower
with yellow stamens
followed by a tight cluster of red fruit. 1 large, wrinkled, basal leaf and a hairy stalk bearing 1 flower
above a pair of 5-lobed stem
leaves, all rising from a yellow, underground stem.
Lacking petals and losing the sepals
early, the flowers of this species owe their color to the many whitish stamens. The plant was used medicinally by Native
Americans and colonists and is still in use today, ranking with American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
of the ginseng family (Araliaceae) as one of the most collected of eastern North American medicinal herbs. Its current rarity is due at least in part to overcollection.
Image Gallery: 8 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, WI Canada: ON Native Distribution: VT
s. to VA,
mts. of GA, AL, TN
& AR Native Habitat:
Deep, rich woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) Soil Description:
Moist, humus-rich soil. Conditions Comments:
leaf winter cover is desirable. A good ground cover for moist, shady places. The knotty yellow rhizomes are used in medicine and have been collected so extensively that the plant is nearly exterminated.