One Leaf, One Flower, One Fruit, Many Seeds

Goldenseal is a minimalist plant. In the spring, its solitary leaf emerges from the soil and unfurls, hidden in the shade. From the center palm of the leaf, a single, white flower blooms.

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The flower withers into a red jewel of a fruit in which many seeds are buried.

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Besides loving the plant for its medicinal qualities, it also reminds me of a singleness of mind, heart, and spirit. Everything is aimed at producing fruit with the least amount of frivolity. It is a simplicity that is graceful and elegant.

I long for that same singleness of heart, mind, and spirit forever aimed at appreciating the the greatest good, deepest truth, and most profound beauty. What we love in others, we are often challenged to find and love in ourselves. I desire simplicity in the midst of a complicated, modern life. Sometimes the best I can do is to sit in the shade with the Goldenseal…and wonder.


“What we have to be is what we are.” – Thomas Merton

Merton, T., & Shannon, W. H. (1985). The hidden ground of love: The letters of Thomas Merton on religious experience and social concerns. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.


14 thoughts on “One Leaf, One Flower, One Fruit, Many Seeds

    1. It grows in the Northeast through the Carolina’s. It is on the federal endangered plant list because of its antiviral properties. You need to purchase seeds from a certified grower or there might be a fine (in the US). Check out United Plant Savers. They have more information on it. It is cool!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not know it was in the midwest! I am not sure it will spread. Right now I pamper it! When the roots are more extensive, I might try separating some and planting it in my woods. You never know! Would my photos help with the drawings? If so you are welcome to use them. I may have more.


      1. That is very kind of you Maria but my rule is I must actually see it growing here in my county. I am compiling a collection of pen and ink drawings of all the plants I find here in northern Illinois, in the hopes of one day having it published. It has been quite an adventure!

        Liked by 1 person

            1. I was presenting at a seminar at the University of Notre Dame in June. We landed in Chicago and decided to drive to South Bend, stopping at the Dunes on the way. I was with a Bioinformatics Professor from Saint Joseph University and he studies one of the species. I am going to write about that, but I was astounded at the geology and the plants. I am going back to South Bend next June and want to stop there again. I realized how little I know about the unique vegetation.


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