Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Coptis aspleniifolia
fern-leaf goldthread

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska south along the coast to Washington.

Habitat: Moist woods and bogs at low elevations.

Flowers: April-May

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Sensitive in Washington (WANHP)


Low, scapose perennials from slender, yellowish rhizomes, the scapes 5-25 cm. tall, exceeding the leaves.


Leaves all basal, fern-like, leathery, evergreen, the blades primarily ternate, the main lateral leaflets pinnately compound to deeply pinnatifid, the terminal leaflet pinnate-pinnatifid, the ultimate segments deeply incised and sharply serrulate.


Scapes 2- to 3-flowered; sepals 5-8, whitish, petal-like, deciduous, filiform-lanceolate, 6-10 mm. long; petals 5-7, shorter than the sepals, linear above the broadened, gland-bearing base; stamens 15-25; pistils 5-10.


Follicles 7-9 mm. long, on a stipe nearly as long.

Accepted Name:
Coptis aspleniifolia Salisb.
Publication: Trans. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 8:306. 1807.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Coptis asplenifolia Salisb., orthographic variant [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Coptis aspleniifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Coptis aspleniifolia checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Coptis aspleniifolia atlas page.

CalPhotos: Coptis aspleniifolia photos.

USDA Plants: Coptis aspleniifolia information.

10 photographs:
Group by