- Latin Name- Xanthorhiza Simplicissima Hardy Zone- 3-9 Mature Height- 1-3ft Width- 2-4ft Sun or Shade- Full Sun
Yellow Root, also known as Marshall or Shrub Yellowroot, is a mat-like and spreading shrub from the Buttercup family. It produces erect and leggy stems of about 3 feet in length. The bark and also the long roots are bitter and a deep yellow color, lending to its common name. Its foliage is a glossy green that turns yellow to reddish-purple in the colder months. Leaves often remain on the plant through the winter and take on a tan color. Crowded, terminal clusters of small, star-shaped flowers of purple-brown color grow on the plants. The dry fruit it bears is a yellow follicle. They can be found predominantly across the eastern United States, their native distribution being in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and as far south as Florida and Louisiana. They prefer damp woods, stream banks, or other wet depressions as well as a shady environment. They thrive best in acidic soils that have a sand, gravely, or silty consistency. Yellow Root is favorable in landscaping as it produces a nice ground cover along moist sites. However, the stems can become brittle and suffer if heavy icing persists in the winter. It can produce more offspring through its suckers and root systems, allowing it to spread and grow quickly. The woody ground cover and dense shading this small tree provides is very useful in a variety of landscaping projects. Furthermore, its leaves maintain a relatively full appearance into the colder months, although most eventually turn a bright yellow color and begin to drop off. The plants do not take an excessive amount of care to ensure a successful growth the next season. These factors contribute to why Yellow Root is such a favorable and small landscaping tree.