This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
A low shrubby plant, with pinnate or bipinnate leaves, and small compoundly racemose flowers. Sepals 5, petaloid, deciduous. Petals 5, smaller than the sepals, unguiculate, concave, 2-lobed. Stamens 5 or 10. Carpels 5-15, sessile, 2-ovuled, forming 1-seeded follicles at maturity by the suppression of one of the ovules; styles short, at length dorsal. [Greek, yellow root.]
A monotypic genus of eastern North America.
Glabrate, 1°-2° high, the bark and long roots yellow and bitter. Leaves pinnate or sometimes bipinnate, clustered at the summit of the short stem, the blade 5'-6' long, slender-petioled; leaflets 5, thin, 1' - 3' long, incisely toothed, cleft or divided, sessile, ovate or oblong, acute, cuneate, shining; branches of the raceme or panicle slender, drooping, 2' - 3' long; flowers about 2" broad, pedicelled, solitary or 2-3 together, brownish-purple; sepals ovate, acute; follicles 4-8, inflated, light yellow, I-seeded, diverging, curved at the apex, minutely beaked.
In woods, southwestern New York to Kentucky and Florida. Also called Yellow-wood. The lowest leaves are sometimes 3-foliolate. Parsley-leaved yellow-root. April-May.