Coptis trifolia (Linnaeus) Salisbury. Phen: Apr-Jun. Hab: Bogs, northern hardwood forests. Dist: Greenland west to AK, south to NJ, nw. NC, n. IN, IA, and BC; e. Asia. Coptis had been reported for NC by many floras (for instance, C, F, G, and S), but the documentation was unknown; its presence in NC has been confirmed by P. McMillan.
ID notes:The species is distinctive, with neatly trifoliolate leaves, small white flowers on scapes, and yellow roots.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: Infrataxa have sometimes been recognized, with var. groenlandica in e. North America northeast to Greenland, and in southern parts of nw. North America; var. trifolia in Alaska and e. Asia (see synonymy). There seems to be no compelling morphological or molecular reasons to recognize infrataxa (Xiang et al. 2016).
Synonymy: = FNA3, K1, K3, K4, Mi, NE, NY, Pa, S, Xiang et al (2016); = n/a – RAB; > Coptis groenlandica (Oeder) Fernald – F, WV; > Coptis trifolia (L.) Salisb. ssp. groenlandica (Oeder) Hultén – G; > Coptis trifolia (L.) Salisb. var. groenlandica (Oeder) Fassett – C