Alphabetical Plant Listing

Xanthorhiza simplicissima (Yellow Root)

Yellowroot, Yellow Root, Shrub Yellowroot, Xanthorhiza apiifolia


Xanthorhiza simplicissima (Yellow Root) is a low-growing, spreading shrub with erect stems clothed with pinnately compound, deeply lobed leaves. Bright green in spring, the foliage warms up to showy shades of red, yellow, orange or purple in fall. In mid to late spring, the plant boasts a profusion of arching sprays packed with small, plum-colored or maroon, star-shaped flowers with yellow centers. Borne at the top of unbranched stems, they are quite attractive when viewed up close but not really showy. The main asset of this plant is its elegant foliage. The stems and roots produce a deep-yellow dye when crushed, hence the common name. Native to eastern North America, Yellow Root occurs naturally in moist woodland areas with free-draining, acidic soils, where it spreads slowly by root suckers to form dense colonies, making it an excellent groundcover. Very adaptable, Yellow Root can help stabilize slopes and looks great planted in a naturalistic garden.

  • Grows up to 6-30 in. tall (15-75 cm) and 6-10 ft. wide (180-300 cm). 
  • Performs best in part shade in acidic to neutral, moist but well-drained soils. Tolerates full shade in the southern part of its range as well as a wide variety of soil conditions including wet soils, dry soils, or clay soils. Tolerant of occasional flooding or drought once established.
  • Great for beds and borders, cottage gardenswoodland gardensbanks and slopes, along ponds and streams, or as a groundcover
  • This plant enjoys an excellent resistance to pests and diseases. Deer resistant.
  • No routine pruning necessary. Remove diseased, damaged, congested or crossing shoots. After pruning, mulch and feed. If pruning is needed, prune immediately after flowering.
  • Propagate by seed sown in containers outdoors in autumn, or by division in spring or autumn.
  • Native to the eastern United States.

 

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 3 – 9
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 6" – 3' (15cm – 90cm)
Spread 6' – 10' (180cm – 3m)
Spacing 72" – 120" (180cm – 300cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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Peganum, Plant Image Library, Bruce Kirchoff, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 3 – 9
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 6" – 3' (15cm – 90cm)
Spread 6' – 10' (180cm – 3m)
Spacing 72" – 120" (180cm – 300cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Southeast, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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