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Shrub Yellowroot

Xanthorhiza simplicissima

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Shrub Yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima) at Roger's Gardens

Shrub Yellowroot flowers

Shrub Yellowroot flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Shrub Yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima) at Roger's Gardens

Shrub Yellowroot

Shrub Yellowroot

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3a


A mat-like spreading shrub with erect leggy stems; a North American native plant that is an excellent alternative to invasive groundcovers; prefers well drained soil but will tolerate heavy wet soil; brownish purple flowers in spring add seasonal interest

Ornamental Features

Shrub Yellowroot is draped in stunning clusters of burgundy flowers with antique red centers along the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has green deciduous foliage. The glossy pointy pinnately compound leaves turn antique red in fall. It produces yellow capsules from early to mid fall.

Landscape Attributes

Shrub Yellowroot is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Shrub Yellowroot is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Shrub Yellowroot will grow to be about 30 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It has a low canopy. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden  Groundcover 
Flowers  Fruit 
Ornamental Features