Coptis trifolia

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Threeleaf goldthread
Coptis trifolia, Pancake Bay PP.jpg
Coptis trifolia, Pancake Bay, Ontario
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Coptis
C. trifolia
Binomial name
Coptis trifolia
Note the golden-yellow rhizomes

Coptis trifolia (syn. Coptis groenlandica), the threeleaf goldthread or savoyane, is a perennial plant in the genus Coptis, a member of the family Ranunculaceae.

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[1] 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.[2] It has also been used to make tea used as an eyewash.[3]


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  3. ^ Niering, William A.; Olmstead, Nancy C. (1985) [1979]. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Knopf. p. 734. ISBN 0-394-50432-1. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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