Bloodroot. Sanguinaria canadensis L.

Figure 21.—Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Other Common Names

Redroot, red puccoon, red Indian paint, puccoon-root, coonroot, white puccoon, pauson, snakebite, sweet-slumber, tetterwort.

Habitat And Range

Bloodroot is found in rich, open woods from Canada south to Florida and west to Arkansas and Nebraska.

Description

This is one of our earliest spring flowers, the waxy white blossom, enfolded by the grayish-green leaf, usually making its appearance early in April. A single leaf and flower stalk are produced from each bud on the rootstock. Stems and leaves are smooth and covered with a bloom which gives them a whitish appearance. The leaves, which are borne on stems 6 to 14 inches long, are five to nine lobed and after the plant has ceased flowering expand to from 4 to 7 inches in length and 6 to 12 inches in width. The white, rather waxlike flower is about 1 inch across and develops into an oblong, narrow seed pod. Both the rootstock and the stem contain a blood-red juice.

Part Used

The rootstock, collected in autumn. After drying, it should be carefully stored because moisture affects its quality.