Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Xanthorhiza simplicissima

Yellowroot, Shrub yellowroot

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Xanthorhiza simplicissima (Yellowroot)
Makin, Julie
A mat-like, spreading shrub with erect, leggy stems to 3 ft. The bark and long roots are deep-yellow and bitter. Attractive foliage is once- or twice-pinnate, glossy and green, turning yellow to reddish-purple in fall. Many tan-colored leaves persist into winter. The small, star-shaped, purplish-brown flowers are in crowded, terminal clusters. Fruit is a dry, yellowish follicle.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AL , CT , FL , GA , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MS , NY , NC , OH , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: PA & c. WV, s. to FL & LA; naturalized elsewhere
Native Habitat: Damp woods; wet depressions; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Sands, gravels or silts.
Conditions Comments: Makes a desirable ground cover for moist sites. Brittle stems may suffer with heavy ice glaze. Freely suckers from the roots.

Last Update: 2015-10-02