Yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima Marshall, Ranunculaceae) is a low-growing deciduous shrub native to hardwood forests in the eastern United States. This review synthesizes existing knowledge about yellowroot’s natural and cultural history including traditional uses, contemporary applications, and future implications. Emphasis is placed on the southern Appalachian mountain region, which is the core of its cultural importance. Natural history and ethnobotanical knowledge about yellowroot were collected from published literature, oral histories, and field observations. While it was first described by botanists in the 18th Century, yellowroot was already a well-established and culturally significant plant to the Native peoples of southern Appalachia for
Castanea Subscribers and members of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society may read or download any articles published in Castanea.
Articles from 2008 to present (Volumes 75 to 86) are available directly from our archives.
Members and Subscribers can access older Castanea articles via our JSTOR Portal without a JSTOR account or logins.