Friday’s Flower: Bloodroot

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One of my favorite early-spring flowers is the Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis).  Its foliage is one of the first to show in the spring followed by blooms in April.  The leaves are broad with deep rounded lobes.  Flowers are single or double white blooms.  This is a native plant that likes shade or partial shade and grows well in leaf litter and the typical conditions of a forest floor.

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 Other names for this plant are coon root, Indian plant, snakebite, sweet slumber, paucon, red root, and tetterwort.

 The name bloodroot comes from the dark red liquid that oozes from the roots when cut.  Bloodroot was used medicinally by Native Americans as a remedy for many diseases and conditions.  It was also used as a dye and insect repellent.  It is highly recommended that this is not used medicinally since it can aggravate some existing medical conditions and some consider it toxic.

 The bluish-green leaves make a lovely groundcover and the white flowers will brighten your shade garden in springtime.  It grows 8-12” tall and will not take over your garden.  It looks beautiful under your birdbath, around the base of your trees or anywhere with lots of organic matter and shade.