|Coptis trifolia, Pancake Bay, Ontario|
It has at least one small, deeply three-lobed, evergreen leaf rising from the ground.
The sepals are white and are easily mistaken for petals. The four to seven petals are yellow and club-like, and they are smaller than the stamens which are numerous and thread-like with delicate anthers.
The long golden-yellow underground stem gives the plant its name. This portion of the plant was chewed by Native Americans to relieve canker sores, and is the source of another common name, canker-root. It has also been used to make tea used as an eyewash.
- Niering, William A.; Olmstead, Nancy C. (1985) . The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Knopf. p. 734. ISBN 0-394-50432-1. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)