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Blood root

Scientific name: Sanguinaria canadensis

This low growing native perennial emerges in spring beneath trees in the woodlands.

Its fragile spring flower develops and rises from the center of its curled leaf, opening in full sun, and closing at night. Like most members of the Poppy Family, it lasts for a relatively short time.

The red juice from the underground stem was used by Indians as a dye for baskets, clothing, and war paint, as well as for insect repellent. The generic name, from the Latin sanguinarius, means bleeding.

All parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause skin irritation, so please leave them alone should you see them in the wild.


These small white flowers have yellow stamens.

Blooming Season

March through May, depending upon the weather.


They are found in wooded areas with dappled sunlight.

Life Cycle

These spread by rhizomes. A rhizome is an underground plant stem that sends out roots and shoots.

Ecosystem Connections

Bloodroot seeds are spread by ants. These plants produce pollen, but no nectar.

Human Connections

All parts of this plant are poisonous.

In the past it has been used medicinally to cause vomiting, treat tooth pain, sore throat and other maladies.

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