Xanthorhiza simplicissima is a small shrub 30-50 cm tall, wood yellow.
Leaves in dense clusters at ends of stems alternate, pinnate, stalks elongate, leaflets 5, narrowly egg-shaped, deeply toothed and lobed, tips pointed.
Flowers purple-green, 5-parted, sepals petal-like, 0.3 cm long, tips pointed, petals none; oval, flat, fleshy, nectar-bearing staminodea 0.1 cm long on stalks in a ring between sepals and yellow stamens; blooms April.
Fruit dry, hollow, slightly hairy, seeds 1-2.
Wetland status: FACW.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Moist woods.