Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Cool Native Plant, the Canadian Bloodroot

Here's a cool native (eastern North America, from Nova Scotia, west to Nebraska, south to Arkansas and northern Florida) plant that I've long been enamoured with -- Sanguinaria canadensis, the Canadian Bloodroot.

It is a unique plant in that the flower emerges first from the rolled-up foliage (it almost look like a cigar) in early spring, usually blooming here in Niagara in mid to late April.

Plants at nurseries can look a little sparse, but a single stem planted in the garden will quickly form a good-sized clump, as pictured, after a few years.

The common name, Bloodroot, comes from the reddish sap that is revealed upon the breaking of various plant parts, but particularly the roots.

A very cool, and longer-flowering, double form also exists, S. canadensis 'Multiplex'.

Here's to dirt under your nails! Spring is (finally) just around the corner.


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