Coptis Salisb.
  • Trans. Linn. Soc. London 8: 305. 1807.
  • Goldthread, coptide [Greek, kopto, to cut, referring to dissected leaves]

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2021): Coptis Salisb. Published on the Internet; Accessed on: 22 Oct 2021'

General Information

Herbs , perennial, from orange, yellow, or pale brown, slender rhizomes 0.5-2 mm thick. Leaves basal, petiolate. Leaf blade 1-2-ternately compound, 1-2-pinnately compound, or deeply divided; leaflets ovate or triangular, lobed or parted, margins sharply serrate to denticulate. Inflorescences scapose, 1-4-flowered cymes, to 3 cm (9 cm in fruit); bracts absent. Flowers bisexual and staminate (all bisexual in C . trifoliata ), radially symmetric; sepals not persistent in fruit, 5-7, green to white, plane, linear-lanceolate, oblanceolate to obovate or elliptic, occasionally clawed, 4.2-11 mm; petals 5-7, distinct, green, plane or concave distally, either clavate with adaxial nectary at apex or linear with adaxial nectary near base, clawed, 2-7 mm; stamens 10-60; filaments filiform; staminodes absent between stamens and pistils; pistils 4-15, simple; ovules 4-10 per pistil; style present. Fruits follicles, aggregate, stipitate, forming umbel-like clusters, oblong to ellipsoid, sides not veined; beak present or absent, terminal, straight or apically hooked, 0-4 mm. Seeds dark brown to tan, ellipsoid, shiny, often appearing wrinkled. x =9.

  • Provided by: [A].Flora of North America @
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Herbs perennial, rhizomatous or sometimes stoloniferous. Rhizomes branched. Leaves several, basal, long petiolate, 3- or 5-sect. Scapes 1 to several, erect. Inflorescences terminal, monochasial, 1- to few flowered. Flowers small, actinomorphic, bisexual. Sepals 5(--8), white or greenish yellow, often petaloid. Petals 5--10 or more, clawed, adaxially often nectariferous. Stamens numerous, glabrous; filaments filiform; anthers broadly elliptic. Pistils 8--14, stipitate; ovules several per ovary. Styles recurved. Follicles stipitate, oblong, transverse veins inconspicuous; persistent styles short. Seeds brown, ellipsoid, shiny, nearly smooth.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora Of CHina @
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    "Sep 4–7, petaloid; pet none; staminodes 4–7, smaller than the sep, clavate, nectariferous in the hollow summit; stamens numerous, with broad anthers; pistils 3–7, stipitate even at anthesis, narrowed to a short, slender, persistent style; fr follicular; perennial herbs with basal, evergreen, ternately compound lvs and erect, lfless or minutely bracteate scapes with 1–few white fls. 10, N. Temp. and Arctic."

  • Provided by: [B].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 



    Fernald, M. L. 1929. Coptis trifolia and its eastern American representative. Rhodora 31: 136-142. Hultén, E. 1937. Flora of the Aleutian Islands and Westernmost Alaska Pensinsula with Notes on the Flora of Commander Islands.... Stockholm.

  • Provided by: [A].Flora of North America @
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Other Local Names

    Goldthread, coptide [Greek, kopto, to cut, referring to dissected leaves]

     Information From

    Flora of North America @
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • A Flora of North America Association
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • B Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora Of CHina @
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • C Missouri Botanical Garden
    • D CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • E CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).