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Wildflowers
by common name

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

Sanguinaria canadensis

Bloodroot is often found along the edges of roadside thickets in the sandy loams of the Canton - Madrid area. They receive full sun in early spring before trees leaf out. Later they will go through their dormant period in partial to full shade. They prefer edges of woody areas and generally are not found in deep shade. The soil should not be allowed to dry. In the wild Bloodroot will spread to open areas but a definite line can be seen where the amount of direct sunlight becomes to much for further advancement. I believe that it is the drying of the soil rather than the amount of light that limits their spread. Of course mowing never helps them either.

Requirements:

Soil Type - Sandy, humus rich
Soil pH - Neutral
Water - Moist
Light - Partial - full shade

Characteristics:

Height - Up to 1 ft
Time of Bloom - April - May
Flower colors - White
Propagation - Division - Seed
Transplants - Easily

As the plant emerges in early spring the flower is clasped by the leaf until ready to open. Bloodroot is ephemeral and will go doemant in summer. The plant may persist longer in favorable conditions, mostly shade and moist soil.

Bloodroot takes easily to woodland garden settings. It transplants easily and if given the right location and conditions will spread quickly. Bloodroot is available at many nurseries.

Bloodroot sap


When broken Bloodroot's stems and root ooze an red-orange sap. The root is toxic but used for medicinal purposes. The sap is also used as a dye.

My favorite use is the report of a Native American tribe that used it as a love charm. Men would coat the palms of their hands and try to get the woman they desired to marry to hold hand. In five - six days she would be willing to marry if she had grasped his hand.


Bloodroot clasping leaf arounf the flower
Bloodroot colony
Bloodroot Flowers
Bloodroot flower


Bloodroot foliage
Bloodroot foliage