Bloodroot

Picture 2634While working out in the display gardens, I can’t stop gawking at this double bloodroot(Sanguinaria canadense f. Multiplex). Its double flowers are a result of a naturally occurring mutation. Instead of having pistol or stamens, these parts are replaced by flower petals. Because of this, the plant is sterile and will not set seed.The plus side is that the blooms hold longer without this plant’s energy going into seed production.Picture 2638The blooms of single flowering bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadense) often only last for a few days.
Bloodroot, in general, is a good plant choice for areas with tree root competition. It can tolerate drier soils and it’s bright white flowers really create a statement in the early woodland garden. Bloodroot is a North American native perennial found growing in shaded, moist, well-drained ( or dry) woodlands. Bloodroot grows to about 6 to 7 inches tall. It’s light green, palmate, lobed, basal leaf is wrapped around the flower as it emerges and opens as the flowers blooms. The stem of Bloodroot is often reddish when mature and topped by a single white flower consisting of 8 to 12 petals ( unless it’s the double form), with a bright golden center. Bloodroot gets its name from the plants thick root tuber.These thick but tender roots contain a red juice that can stain your skin. Bloodroot has been used medicinally, though with a very careful application and in small doses. As an expectorant and respiratory stimulant, it has been used to treat bronchial problems and severe throat infections. A poultice of bloodroot can be used to treat skin disease, warts, tumors, ringworm, and will even act as an insect repellent. However, bloodroot should be considered toxic and not edible, an overdose in its application can be fatal.Not a plant one should feel at ease going out to harvest and use as a medicinal unless very skillful in preparing (and applying) herbal or homeopathic remedies.
Perhaps it’s just better to enjoy this plants wonderful visual attributes…you won’t be disappointed.Picture 2637

8 comments on “Bloodroot

    • Kerry, do you know much about Irish Linen ..vintage? I think most of the linen was made in Northern Ireland and most of it went to England. Do you have any info, or sources, or do you have any pieces for sale?
      Denise

      • I don’t know much, really, about Irish linen and I have no idea how to recognize an unmarked piece as Irish. I have come across unused items that still have tags and have sold them in my shop but I don’t think there are any there right now. I think the identification problem would come down to looking for characteristics that were unique to the linens made in Ireland . . . and I don’t know what those would be. Some linens, like Madeira, have a specific kind of handwork embellishment that was done only there but I don’t know that to be the case with Irish linen. If I ever learn enough to actually be helpful, I’ll let you know!

  1. I rescued blood root in my area (Western New Jersey), where it was growing mostly on the roadside and being wiped out by herbicidal spraying by the road crews. I transplanted a few of them to my open woodlands, where over the years they have naturalized, but not to the lush extent your photos show. How do you get clumps of them like that? Do you transplant a group to a place in your display garden?

    • One of the ways that bloodroot spreads is through ants. Ants collect the seeds from bloodroot which are covered in a sticky sweet substance called elaiosome, they take the seeds back to their nesting areas, eat the elasosome, leaving the seeds to then germinate. One way they spread, and yes we do on occasion move clumps of bloodroot ( the double as we mentioned is sterile), we find that if the conditions are right they multiply quite quickly.

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