Sanguinaria Canadensis Sanguinaria, from the red juice of the rootstock.
Perennial. In rich open woodlands. One of the very earliest spring flowers, appearing long before the leaves of trees or shrubs. Nova Scotia to Ontario and Nebraska, southward to Florida and Arkansas. Abundant in northern Ohio. March-May.
Thick, charged with orange-red juice, which is both acrid and astringent.
Smooth, naked, one-flowered.
Radical, rounded, palmately lobed, heart-shaped at base, enfolding the flower-bud.
White, solitary, an inch to an inch and a half across.
Of two sepals, which fall when the flower expands.
Of eight to twelve, snowy white petals, long, narrow, and tapering at either end.
Many, often twenty-four; anthers brilliant yellow, with whitish filaments.
One; stigma large, yellow, set directly on the ovary.
Oblong, pointed pod, with many yellowish or brown seeds.
Pollinated by bees and flies. Stigma matures before the anthers.
Bloodroot. Sanguinaria Canadensis
"Bloodroots whose rollcd-up leaves ef you oncurl, Each on em's cradle to a baby pearl."
Hepatica and Bloodroot are like the dewdrops of early morning which disappear before the sun. They can be found just once in the year; after that they appear no more. These are the delicate children of April; May is their foster-mother. Contact with them is like the glimpse of a spirituelle face. - Kirkham.
The Bloodroot appears only a little later and often with the Hepatica in rich moist woods, borders of meadows, and fence corners. From the terminal buds of its thickened underground stem there arises in very-early spring a flower-stalk bearing, as a rule, a single blossom. The starry flower of snowy whiteness with a heart of gold emerges from the ground as a bud carefully wrapped in a protecting leaf. In full bloom it offers pollen to the hungry bees but no nectar. The two sepals which enclose the bud fall as the flower opens, thus showing its relationship to the poppy. The fragile blossoms are elusive; when in full bloom the petals fall so readily that with a touch the stem stands naked. The leaf is especially beautiful; at first pale green with a network of pinkish veins and lobed edges, late in the season it increases greatly in size, becoming one of the most beautiful leaves on the forest floor. The orange-red juice of the plant was one of the vegetable dyes much used by the Indians; the root was also one of their medicines used especially for coughs and colds.