Coptis trifolia

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Goldthread, Three-leaf Goldthread, Savoyane, Canker Root, Goldenroot, Yellow Snakeroot
    Synonyms: Coptis groenlandica
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 2 - 6
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: April - July
    Status: Native

Coptis trifolia, or Goldthread, is native to only the northeastern quarter of the United States. It grows in moist open woods, and bogs, and grows in humusy, cool, acidic soil. It blooms in mid to late spring, with small flowers that have golden petals, and what look like white petals on this plant, are actually sepals. The roots of the plant are orange.

There are only four species in this genus, and Coptis trifolia is the only one in the eastern US. The rest are in the west, and so it is fairly easily distinguished in this way, just by its distribution, but it is also the only species that has white petal-like sepals; the rest of the species have green to yellow petals.

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