below are a couple good pics of yellowroot (goldenseal) I found on line.
I have dug it before but it has been years.. back in the 80's.. and I only dug it a short while then. It was too much like work for me and I already had a paying job.. and hunting Ginseng was much more fun, and profitable.
I am not sure what goldenseal brings now days, but best I remember from back then.. it was quite cheap compared to ginseng... like 30-40 bucks a pound. You could, and I did, find gigantic patches of it... where you could dig for days on the same hillside... but that is what make it so much like WORK... and not near as fun. The most fun I ever had digging yellowroot.. was when I would occasionally find a nice stalk of ginseng in the yr patch.
TN, last evening when I googled "yellow root" I got hits for Goldenseal which is why I asked if they are the same. I saw photos that resembled plants I've seen on my property which included the white flowers. I have not seen any red berries on those plants, so maybe I'm seeing something else.
I seem to struggle with plant ID in many cases, like cohosh. I suspect I have some and have looked at plants and thought, "well that looks like it but I'm not sure".
I find quite a bit of maidenhair fern, Mayapple and what I think is rattlesnake fern; whatever the latter is, I've found ginseng nearby.
Taking a second look at your photo of yellowroot, the leaves look very familiar but I haven't seen the berries. Next spring I'll be all over it. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, you don't plan on billing me for it I hope. lol
Woodsrunner... glad to share any info I can that might help others.
Looking at that Pic above of real goldenseal plants... with red berries... the woods, other plants, etc... look like possibly late summer to me... but not into the fall yet. it's very green still, no real stress on the plants yet, no yellow leaves.
I did a google search on .. when do goldenseal berries (and a hit came up that included "come out") and I took that..
The fruit ripens in mid- to late-summer, and resembles a small raspberry, with fleshy red berries, each topped with persistent styles and containing one or two black, shiny seeds.
Mid to Late Summer to me would be end of June, First of July... about the same time blackberries start getting ripe.
I am usually not doing a lot of tromping around in the woods that early.. way too many ticks (seed ticks) around here... and I suppose by September, those red berries may have already fallen off the goldenseal plants. I dug some golden seal a couple years ago here in a hollow on my place (in mid September) and I sure don't recall any red berries then.
I also don't walk my woods as much in the summer and when I do it's early morning or just before dark when the gnats and/or whatever bugs aren't flying into my eyes. And then, I'm focused on checking my ginseng and not looking around so much. I'll make a note to look around this summer for yellow root.