Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Goldenseal
Hydrastis canadensis

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrastis (hy-DRASS-tiss) (Info)
Species: canadensis (ka-na-DEN-sis) (Info)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Green
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Click thumbnail
to view:

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #1 of Hydrastis canadensis by creekwalker

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #2 of Hydrastis canadensis by creekwalker

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #3 of Hydrastis canadensis by creekwalker

By Toxicodendron
Thumbnail #4 of Hydrastis canadensis by Toxicodendron

By creekwalker
Thumbnail #5 of Hydrastis canadensis by creekwalker

By Ivey
Thumbnail #6 of Hydrastis canadensis by Ivey

By lupinelover
Thumbnail #7 of Hydrastis canadensis by lupinelover

There are a total of 14 photos.
Click here to view them all!


3 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral SilkKnoll On Jul 4, 2011, SilkKnoll from Tuskegee, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

"To help prevent its extinction, gardeners should ensure that plants are nursery propagated rather than collected."

It really doesn't know how to act endangered and on the verge of extinction: It keeps popping up unbidden in my garden, and the woods are full of it.

Positive Malus2006 On May 10, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

bloom in may in Minnesota

Positive creekwalker On Oct 26, 2007, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have not found this plant growing wild in my woods, however, I did take a few plants from my parents land(they had large patches of it growing wild), a couple of hundred miles from me and transplanted it and it thrived. I had to transplant it again when I moved, but now it has a nice home in the woods. It survived the second transplant even. It seems to be fairly hardy and I hope it continues to do well and multiply.

It spreads from runners under the ground. I have actually used this medicinally though you have to be very careful. Goldenseal is poisonous. But in the right amounts, it is good as an antibiotic and I have successfully used it as that without prescription drugs. I had made a small amount of tincture using vodka and the Goldenseal root. The roots need to be at least 4 or 5 years old, I believe.

A good antibiotic substitute though is Oregon Grape and I do not promote wildcrafting this herb for use. I will probably never touch mine. I had used a couple of the roots I dug for transplanting and haven't made any since. It is an endangered plant and needs to be protected.

Neutral HawaiiBill On Feb 10, 2006, HawaiiBill from Kea`au, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I've entered into an effort to cultivate goldenseal in Hawai`i. There are those who believe it needs a freeze but finding any authority for that is difficult. I would very much appreciate any notes on efforts to grow this root in a tropical setting. My come from a Southern state but, as you all know, it freezes in the Southeast regularly.

I'm going to plant my three roots in different settings, one in a hole in a shady 'ohia forest and the other two in cinder and soil mix of different percentages raised on tables. Wish me well!

Positive DiOhio On Apr 27, 2005, DiOhio from Corning, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

It is also known as Yellowroot. It is dug and sold for medicinal purposes. I'm not sure what price it brings today but about 9 years ago it only brought about $15.00 per dried pound (that's a lot of dried root to make a pound !).
I'm happy to say that my woods have many large colonies of it growing.

Neutral lupinelover On May 30, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is endangered in the wild in most parts of the US. To help prevent its extinction, gardeners should ensure that plants are nursery propagated rather than collected.

It has been used since antiquity as an herb, otherwise it is fairly un-interesting to look at. Blooms are insignificant, although the foliage is attractive.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cullman, Alabama
Tuskegee, Alabama
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ballwin, Missouri
Cole Camp, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Plainfield, New Jersey
Trinity, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
Cosby, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Stanwood, Washington
Augusta, West Virginia

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America