Hydrastis canadensis

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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



This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Birmingham, Alabama

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

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 21, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This shy plant survives in a shady location, in reasonably well draining soil with a healthy dose of hardwood leaf mulch and adequate moisture. It is most tolerant of full shade or a short dose of morning sun. It does not tolerate dry conditions for long periods. Once established, it tends to spread via runners, so look for new stalks emerging each season.


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.


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

bloom in may in Minnesota


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 t... read more


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!


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.


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.