Monday, April 5, 2010

Bloodroot in bloom

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) in bloom is one of the early signs of spring, a wildflower that plant enthusiasts seek out and cherish. Each solitary flower has 8-24 large white petals with numerous golden anthers.

Bees and flies visit the nectarless flowers for pollen and in the process often pollinate the flowers. On cloudy days and at night the flowers close up tight (perhaps because pollinators aren't active then).

At the base of each flower stalk is an upright blue-green leaf with a deeply lobed margin. As the growing season progresses the leaf gets larger and usually takes on a horizontal orientation.

Why the name bloodroot? Its thick rhizome oozes an orange-red juice when cut. Native Americans used this juice as body paint and as a dye for clothing.

No comments:

Post a Comment