Xantho (yellow) rhiza (root) simplicissima (most simple, as the stems are unbranched) — what a wonderful name!! — is a very interesting, deciduous, rhizomatous subshrub native to shady, damp depressions and stream banks in wooded habitats throughout the mountains and piedmonts of our Southeastern states. It has lacy foliage to a height of up to about 30 inches on the upright, woody stems, and in April and May, tiny, sweet, purple/chocolate brown and yellow star-shaped flowers dangle in terminal clusters. The suckering roots, which are an amazing bright yellow, spread the colony outward, creating a hardy, attractive, lacy, tall groundcover effortlessly. Yellowroot is extremely adaptable with respect to both soil and light and can fill problem sun-to-shade transition areas, providing cover for ground-nesting birds and small critters. The seed heads of Yellowroot maintain the lacy appearance of the flowers and persist into the winter, providing sustenance for those critters. The roots were used by native americans to make dye and the root itself was also chewed upon for a numbing-effect and other medicinal qualities.