Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Coptis groenlandica (L.) Salisb.
RANUNCULACEAE (Buttercup Family)
EtymologyCoptis is from the Greek: kopto = to cut, in reference to the deeply-cut leaves; groenlandica is Latin for of or from Greenland.
Synonyms (Common Name)Canker-root
DescriptionA perennial evergreen herb, goldthread covers the ground in low-growing (to 6" tall) colonies of shiny, dark leaves. Stemless, its smooth, slender leaf and flower stalks arise from the bright yellow, root-like rhizomes that give goldthread its common name.
Wetland indicator statusFACW
Plant Heightto 6 inches
LeavesEvergreen, basal, compound, divided into 3 leaflets; leaflets are slightly 3-lobed, rounded at the tip, with toothed margins; shiny, dark green; greenish-purple in winter.
Flower/InflorescenceWhite, small (1/2-3/4"), 5-7 petal-like sepals, 5-7 inconspicuous, club-shaped petals; singly on a slender stalks.
Flowering PeriodMay-June
FruitPod, 1/2" long, in small clusters.
HabitatBogs, wooded swamps, wet woods.
RangeGreenland to Alaska; south to New Jersey and Iowa; mountains to North Carolina.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett