Herb latin name: Coptis occidentalis
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Description of the plant:
Habitat of Coptis occidentalis:Moist coniferous woods at elevations of 500-2000 metres in the Rocky Mountains.
Other uses of the herb:A yellow dye is obtained from the root. Can be grown as a ground cover plant in the peat garden.
Propagation of Coptis occidentalis:Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in an ericaceous compost. Seal the pot in a polythene bag until germination takes place, which is usually within 1 - 6 months at 10°C. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible. Four weeks cold stratification may be beneficial. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid-autumn or in spring. Division in spring.
Cultivation of the herb:Moist coniferous woods at elevations of 500-2000 metres in the Rocky Mountains.
Medicinal use of Coptis occidentalis:None known
Known hazards of Coptis occidentalis:Although no specific mention of toxicity has been found for this species, it belongs to a family that contains many species that are mildly toxic and so it is wise to treat this plant with some caution.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.