(Plate XCVII)

Family

Poppy.

Colour

White with yellow centre.

Odour

Scentless.

Range

General.

Time of Bloom

April, May.

Flowers: terminal; solitary; growing on a naked scape. Calyx: of two sepals. Corolla: of eight to twelve petals. Stamens: numerous. Pistil: one. Fruit: an oblong pod. Leaf: one only, from the base; rounded; palmately-lobed; veined. Rootstock: fleshy and, as the stalks, containing a blood-red juice.

The blossom of the blood-root is one of the most carefully guarded of Nature's children. Its sweet loveliness is not thrust ruthlessly upon the world to make its way the best it can. The leaf is carefully wrapped about the flower bud, and not until the former is assured of the temperature and the fitness of the surroundings, does it unfold and allow the scape to stretch upward bearing the beautiful flower. And how fair it is only those can know that have seen it unfold its pure, spotless petals. Indeed, it is too fragile for the rocky hillsides. The winds carry off its petals and those that seek it often sigh to find it has already perished.

It seems strangely incongruous that the fluid of this plant with its unusually pure blossom should have been used so extensively by the Indians to decorate their faces.

Blood Root Indian Plant Sanguinaria Canadensis 172