Monday, November 14, 2011
Have you ever heard of yellowroot? Let me clarify it a bit for you, have you ever heard of Xanthorhiza simplicissima, syn. X. apiifolia? No? Me neither until one spring Perennial Plant Society meeting. There was a whole bag of yellowroot free for the taking. Not knowing what yellowroot was I was a bit hesitant to grab a start but one of the members (Joanne) is very well informed about wildflowers. She explained yellowroot grows in the shade and only gets to about two to three feet tall and has little blooms in the spring. It suckers slowly. Grows in the shade? The perked me up and I grabbed a start for my garden.
Once I got home from the meeting I researched yellowroot a little more on my own. There is only one member of the genus xanthoriza and this is it. It is native and is actually on the endangered list for wildflowers in Land Between the Lakes. Wow! I felt like I got a real gem for my garden. I planted my start under an oak tree in a low area of the yard. As promised it bloomed and looked nice for most of the summer. However, late in the summer my yellowroot appeared to go dormant (I hope it comes back next spring!). I wasn't sure if this was normal or not so imagine my surprise when on my visit to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens I found a whole stand of yellowroot. And this yellowroot was not dormant. It is quite healthy and looking great for September.
Wikipedia says yellowroot is toxic in large quantities and deer do not eat it. Yellowroot does have some medicinal uses though. I think it is a neat native and am looking for good things to come of mine come next spring.....
in the garden....
Have you any experience with yellowroot?
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden