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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of herbaceous perennial plants of the family Ranunculaceae, sometimes classified in the family Hydrastis. There are two species in the eastern part of North America and in East Asia. Orange root, or golden seal (H. canadensis), is a North American medicinal plant, cultivated in the central part of European USSR and in the Ukraine. When broken, the rhizome is golden yellow; externally, it has traces of dead stems that look like seals. The stem reaches 30 cm. The flowers are single, with a calycine perianth of three greenish white bracts, and there are numerous stamens and pistils. The fruit is red and berry-like. The rhizome contains such alkaloids as hydrastine and berberine, which are used as styptics.


Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.