Twinleaf. Jeffersonia diphylla (L.) Pers.

Figure 110.—Twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla)

Other Common Names

Jeffersonia, rheumatism root, helmetpod, ground-squirrel pea, yellowroot.

Habitat And Range

Twinleaf inhabits rich shady woods from New York to Virginia and westward to Wisconsin.


Twinleaf is only about 6 or 8 inches in height when in flower but reaches a height of 18 inches at the fruiting stage. The long-stemmed, smooth leaves are almost completely divided into two leaflets and arise directly from the base of the plant. The white flowers measuring about 1 inch across. which appear early in spring, are borne singly on a slender stalk arising from the root and are followed by a leathery, somewhat pear-shaped capsule containing many seeds. Twinleaf has a thick, knotty, yellowish-brown, horizontal root. stock with man fibrous, much-matted roots.

Part Used

The rootstock, collected in autumn.