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Yellow Alder: Growing & Healing Attributes

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Also called yellow elder (Turnera ulmifolia), West Indian Holly, ram goat dashalong, yellow buttercup, buttercup bush, Cuban buttercup, Bahamian buttercup, sage rose and false Damiana, (though it is not closely related to buttercup, holly, rose, alder or elder) yellow alder is a tropical shrub in the Passionflower family native to the Caribbean basin.

It is a low, bushy plant that reaches a height of 2-3 feet. Yellow flowers are produced all year long among shiny green serrated oval-shaped leaves.


Yellow Alder, scientifically known as Turnera ulmifolia, is a versatile and hardy flowering shrub native to the tropical regions of North and South America.

This resilient plant thrives in well-drained soil and full sun, making it an ideal addition to gardens and landscapes in warm climates.

Yellow alder boasts a rich history of traditional medicinal uses, with its leaves and flowers being used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, anxiety, and menstrual discomfort.

Growing Yellow Alder

Yellow alder is not picky about soil and thrives in full sun to part shade, though it will be bushier if it gets more sun. It makes a nice ground cover in zones 9-11, and can be grown in a container in other areas.

Yellow alder is drought tolerant. It will reseed in its ideal habitat and may become invasive.

Yellow alder for Healing

Yellow alder is used traditionally to treat colds and flu, stomach aches, diarrhea, abdominal and menstrual cramps and for skin conditions. Studies have shown yellow alder to have antibacterial properties.


Parts of this plant are toxic.

1. Turnera ulmifolia by Pick Him! at Flickr Some rights reserved creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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