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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 patches are now 2-3' wide and reseed nicely. 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 my favorite, uterine subinvolution. I hope it grows as well for you as it has for us.
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