Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Coptis occidentalis
Idaho goldthread, western goldthread

Distribution: Occurring in the northeastern corner of Washington; Adjacent British Columbia east to Idaho and Montana.

Habitat: Moist woods.

Flowers: April-May

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Review Group 1 in Washington (WANHP)


Low, scapose perennials from slender, yellowish rhizomes, the scapes 10-20 cm. tall, about equaling the leaves.


Leaves all basal, long-petiolate, leathery, evergreen, the blades trifoliate, the leaflets broadly ovate, 3-6 cm. long, tri-lobed about half their length and secondarily lobed, with fine, sharp teeth.


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


Follicles 8-12 mm. long, on a stipe.

Accepted Name:
Coptis occidentalis (Nutt.) Torr. & A. Gray
Publication: Fl. N. Amer. 1:28. 1838. 1838.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Chrysocoptis occidentalis Nutt.
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Coptis occidentalis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Coptis occidentalis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Coptis occidentalis photos.

USDA Plants: Coptis occidentalis information.

30 photographs:
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