yellowroot Ranunculaceae Xanthorhiza
simplicissima Marsh. symbol: XASI
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately or bipinnately compound, deciduous, 4 to 8 inches, yellow-green, 3-5 leaflets per leaf, 1-3 inches long, serrate to deeply toothed, petioles long and slender, maroon to yellow fall color.
Flower: Drooping four-inch sparse clusters, yellow to purple-brown, appearing in early spring, individual flowers are small, star-like with 5 petals.
Fruit: A star-shaped cluster of follicles, initially green and fleshy, drying and turning brown.
Twig: Terminal buds cigar-shaped, sharp-pointed and scaly, leaf scars narrow and nearly encircling the twig, with many bundle scars in a distinct row.
Bark: Gray-brown and smooth, inner bark yellow.
Form: Suckering and clumping, generally a ground cover, to 3 feet tall.
Additional Range Information: Xanthorhiza simplicissima is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting yellowroot.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)