Sambucus canadensis #3 (American Elderberry)August 26, 2020
Scutellaria incana #1 (Downy Skullcap)August 26, 2020
Sanguinaria canadensis 3qt (Bloodroot)
-Part Shade, Full Shade
-Moist to Average Soil (FACU, UPL)
-White Flowers in March-April
-Drought and Black Walnut tolerant
-Medicinal, Used for Dye
Out of stock
Bloodroot is a dramatic native wildflower of rich, deciduous woods. An elegant, solitary white flower appears on a stalk that is clasped in the emerging leaf in early spring. The lightly fragrant flower will only open on sunny days. It has 8-12 petals with bright yellow stamens and is fleeting, only lasting 1-2 days. Afterward, the petals drop off and the seed pod begins to develop while the rounded, scalloped leaves unfurl. The grey-green leaves continue to enlarge to a size of around 7″ across! These leaves remain fresh and distinctive into mid to late summer when the plants finally go dormant.
Bloodroot gets its name from the thick, fleshy red rhizomes that ooze a sap which resembles blood when broken open. This sap was purportedly used by males of the Ponca tribe as a traditional wedding proposal tactic. They would rub a piece of root on their palm and shake hands with the girl they wanted to marry, then wait 5-6 days for the answer.* The blood red sap has also been used as a dye and medicinally, though this is not recommended as it contains alkaloids that could be potentially fatal if ingested. As with any edible or medicinal plant, proper research should be done before use.
The rhizomes and fibrous root system requires well-draining soil to avoid rotting. Rhizomatous growth leads Bloodroot to form vegetative colonies. The seeds also spread around, often a good distance from the mother plants, with a lot of help from ants! The ants gather the freshly ejected seeds and carry them back to their nests to eat the fleshy appendage attached to the seed coat (called elaiosomes.) The undamaged seeds are then discarded in their midden heaps, which are a perfectly rich and protected substrate for the seeds to germinate in. This mutualistic interaction helps many spring ephemerals to spread around the landscape, since most of their seeds are too heavy for wind transport and unviable if they get desiccated.
Growing and Propagating Wildflowers by William Cullina
Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers by Harry R. Phillips
*Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and James A. Duke
Missouri Botanical Garden
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center