An erect, perennial herb with a thick yellow rootstock. Stems 10 to 15 inches high. Usually each plant with a single, long-petioled basal leaf which is 5 to 8 inches broad and palmately 5 to 9-lobed, the lobes broad, pointed, sharply and unequally toothed. Stem leaves two, borne at the summit of the stem, similar in shape but smaller than the basal leaf, the uppermost leaf just below the solitary, greenish white flower, which is one-third to one-half of an inch broad. Sepals three, petallike and falling away as the flower opens. Petals none. Stamens numerous, their filaments widened and about one-sixth of an inch long; anthers oblong, obtuse. Carpels several, ripening into an ovoid, crimson head of fruit about twothirds of an inch long, each carpel in fruit tipped with a short recurved beak.
In moist or low woodlands, Connecticut to Minnesota, Ontario, Kansas and Missouri, south to Georgia.
Figure XV Goldenseal or Orange-root (Hydrastis canadensis Linnaeus)