Protecting Goldenseal: How Status Assessments Inform Conservation

HerbalGramLeah Oliver

A recently published global assessment of the conservation status of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis, Ranunculaceae) has found that the species is Vulnerable to Extinction (i.e., it faces a higher risk of extinction in the wild throughout its distribution in the United States and Canada than many other species). However, the extinction risk is not yet at the level of Endangered (very high risk of extinction) or Critically Endangered (extremely high risk of extinction). This article explains two complementary conservation ranking methods — the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and NatureServe — and the criteria applied to assess the conservation status of goldenseal. These assessments consider all primary threats to goldenseal conservation, including the impact of habitat loss and other factors, such as domestic and international trade, and propose measures to support in situ and ex situ conservation of this species.

NatureServe Author(s)


  • Oliver, L.E. and D.J. Leaman