Yellowroot, Xanthorhiza simplicissima


Xanthorhiza simplicissima

Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Acid, Loam
Soil Moisture: Medium
Color: White
Fragrance: No
Height: .5-2.5 feet
Spacing: 6-10 feet


Yellowroot, Xanthorhiza simplicissima, is a deciduous, suckering, spreading shrub native to forested stream banks and other moist woodland areas. The stems are upright, unbranched, and somewhat leggy in appearance, reaching between 0.5-2.5 feet tall and topped with a cluster of leaves. The compound leaves can reach up to 7 inches long and have five, toothed leaflets, making them somewhat similar to celery leaves in appearance. A drooping, branched panicle of small, dark purple-maroon flowers appears in spring from the bases of the leaf clusters.

Easily grown in evenly moist, acidic, humusy, well-draining soils in part shade. Will adapt to a wide variety of soil conditions including wet, dry, or clay. Will also adapt to various sun conditions ranging from part sun to full shade. Tolerant of drought once established. Alkaline soils can cause chlorosis. Can spread indefinitely in ideal conditions. Concrete walkways and metal edging can help contain its spread. Will also spread less readily in full sun and drier soils.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Shrubby ground cover.
  Can help stabilize slopes.
  Suitable for use in dry shade.
  Performs best in woodland gardens, shady pond margins, or other semi-shady, moist areas of the garden.
  Bronzy-yellow fall color can be quite showy.
  Crushing the roots and stems produces a yellow dye.
  The roots have been used traditionally to treat various aliments of the digestive and circulatory systems.
Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries