Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Goldenseal - Hydrastis canadensis   L.Only member of Hydrastis in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Ranunculales » Family Hydrastidaceae
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DistributionScattered over the Mountains, and very sparingly in the northern Piedmont, east to Rockingham County. An iNaturalist photo from Randolph County is correct, but the website editors cannot verify that this is a natural occurrence.

This is a Mideastern species, found from VT west to southern MN, and south to northern GA and central AR.
AbundanceRare in the Mountains, and very rare in the far northern Piedmont. This is a State Special Concern species.
HabitatThis species requires high pH soils, usually in moist forests. It grows best in Rich Cove Forests, as well as Basic Mesic Forests. It also grows in Boulderfield Forests and Northern Hardwoods, among other rich habitats.
See also Habitat Account for Rich Montane Hardwood Forests
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, and fruits from May to June.
IdentificationThis is an herb that grows to about 1 foot tall, with one basal and two stem leaves, which come off the stem near the summit. Each leaf is palmately-lobed into 5 segments, and is about 6 inches wide and almost as long. The margins are serrated, and the leaves are noticeably wrinkled, at least during flowering, and less so later during fruiting. The single flower is at the top of the stem, a few inches above the leaves, which are oriented somewhat horizontally. The flower has no petals, and the sepals drop early, leaving numerous white stamens to represent the flower, to pollinating insects. Each flower is about 1/2-inch across. The fruit consists of a small head of multiple berries, dark red in color. The species is noted for its bright golden-yellow rhizome, which gives the species its common name. This plant is unfortunately often collected for the medicinal usages of the root, and locations of colonies need to be protected from the public. It does grow in fairly sizable colonies, though there are only a few such sites for it each in each county, on average, in the western part of the state. This is a monotypic genus, there being no other Hydrastis species.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS3
Global RankG3G4
State StatusSC-V
US Status
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