Xanthorrhiza. Yellow-root. Xanthorrhiza apiifolia.
Xanthorrhiza. Yellow-root. Shrub Yellow-root. Xanthorrhiza apiifolia L'Her. (Fam. Ranunculaceae.)—This is a low shrub, with a horizontal rhizome, which sends off numerous suckers. The stem is simple, about 6 mm. thick, with a smooth bark and bright yellow wood. The leaves, are compound, consisting of several ovate-lanceolate, acute, doubly serrate leaflets, sessile upon a long petiole, which embraces the stem at its base. The flowers are small, purple, and disposed in long, drooping, divided racemes, placed immediately below the first leaves. Yellow-root grows from Southern New York to Georgia and west to Kentucky. It flowers in April. The root was formerly in the Secondary List of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, but the bark of the stem possesses the same virtues. The root is from 7 cm. to 1 dm. in length, and about 12 mm. thick near the stem. It shrinks somewhat in drying, and, as found in commerce, is in slender pieces of various lengths, wrinkled longitudinally, with a light yellowish-brown, easily separable epidermis, a thick, hard, bright yellow woody portion, and a very slender central pith. It is inodorous, and of a simple but extremely bitter taste. It imparts its color and taste to water. The infusion is not affected by ferric salts. J. Dyson Perrins found berberine in it. (P. J; May, 1862.) Samuel S. Jones believed that he had proved the existence in the drug of a second alkaloid. (A. J. P., vol. xvi, 1861.) Xanthorrhiza possesses properties closely analogous to those of calumba, quassia, and other simple tonic bitters, and may be used for the same purposes and in the same manner. Woodhouse employed it in the dose of forty grains (2.6 Gm.).