Xanthorhiza simplicissima Marshall
Yellowroot, Shrub Yellowroot
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
USDA Symbol: XASI
A mat-like, spreading shrub with erect, leggy stems to 30 inches 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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Brownish purple to greenish yellow.
DistributionUSA: AL , CT , FL , GA , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MS , NC , NY , 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 ConditionsLight 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.
PropagationDescription: The most effective propagation method is division of parent plant. Root cuttings and June shoot cuttings will also work.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Xanthorhiza simplicissima in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Xanthorhiza simplicissima in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Xanthorhiza simplicissima
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-05-04
Research By: TWC Staff