- Family. Ranunculaceae, the buttercup family. What kind of plant is it? Deciduous sub-shrub. Hardiness. Zones 4 - 9. Habit
Yellow Root – Xanthorhiza Simplicissima
Related to the buttercup family, the yellow root is a hardy plant that loves growing zones 3 through 9 and is native to the eastern United States and Canada. Its uniquely colored bark and root system bring visual interest to gardens. Common names for the perennial are Goldenseal, orange root, and yellow puccoon. Slow growing, it is a small shrub growing no higher than 3 feet tall, but most average between 1 foot and 3 feet. Its leaves vary slightly from heart-shaped to round. Moist, but well-draining, is yellow root’s soil of choice.
Yellow Root prefers partial shade, loving about four hours of early morning or late afternoon sun, and does well planted beneath tree canopies.
Expect yellow root to bloom yellow-green or white flowers, ½ inch in diameter, in mid to late spring. In the summer, the plants develop a raspberry-like cluster of red berries with tiny black seeds. Green leaves turn from orange to red in the fall, giving a great eye-catching statement to any yard or garden. Attractive to birds and wildlife, the deciduous shrub has ornamental uses and those richly rooted in pre-Revolutionary War folk medicine, with other traditional methods today in natural medicine; it’s like planting a piece of history.
With such a distinct and unique name as Yellow Root, the Xanthoriza Yellow Root also brings with it many significant characteristics and advantages.
Native to the east side of the United States, the plant has spread nationwide because of its alkaloid berberine, which has numerous traditional and contemporary uses for dyeing and medicine. It can be added to drinks, food, used as an antibiotic and many more other things. However, perhaps the best use of the plant would be to display its beautiful lush, and vibrant colors for all to see. The thing is, because of all these incredible benefits, this plant is quickly coming out of stores and into homes so, get yours as soon as you can! Tiny purple blooms will begin to appear in the spring months and will be spectacular in appearance. It also produces star-shaped fruits that will act as a food source for local wildlife creatures.