Hydrastis canadensis


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Item #: 4787

Zones: 3a to 8b

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 18" tall

Culture: Light Shade to Shade

Origin: United States

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

Hydrastis canadensis is a rare US native (Minnesota south to Georgia) monotypic genus, whose close cousins include hellebores, clematis, and glaucidium. In the wild, goldenseal is found in moist, open woodlands in near neutral pH soils...a condition that we have also found works well in our cultivated garden. Our twelve-year-old plantings are now 2-3' wide. Goldenseal emerges with two pleated green leaves atop an 18" tall stalk...the top leaf is the resting place for a white fothergilla-like flower in very early spring (late April in NC). In late summer a small cluster of bright red berries replaces the flower atop the second leaf...unique and hard to adequately describe...especially late at night. Goldenseal is prized for its medicinal value and has been used as an anti-inflammatory antiseptic to cure stomach disorders, constipation, cirrhosis, fevers, breast swelling, and not to mention, uterine subinvolution. Our 25-year old patch seeds around well, so these are all seed-propagated here at the nursery. We hope it grows as well for you as it has for us.


We have found no need for any maintenance when growing Goldenseal in the garden.

Growing Conditions:

We have found this native perennial to be quite easy in our woodland garden, where the soil pH is near neutral in amended sandy loam.We have grown it in both rather dry as well and irrigated soils that stay slightly moist and have noticed no difference in its garden performance.

Garden Value:

We love it in the garden for the bold green foliage, the attractive white flowers, and for the red fruit, that follows the flowers. The bolder texture of the foliage, plays well when used around finer textured plants like ferns.

Natural Impact:

Bees are the primary pollinators, although we also see several smaller flies hard at work during the flowering season.