Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bloodroot in bloom

Today I saw my first bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) of the year. It was a cool, somewhat cloudy morning so the large white flowers were slow to open fully. This time of year the lobed leaf at the base of each flower stalk has a vertical orientation whereas in summer the leaf gets even larger and has a horizontal orientation (to better capture light under a leafy canopy). Bees and flies occasionally visit the nectarless flowers for pollen, and in the process, may function as pollinators.

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