Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) can form extensive colonies of gleaming white flowers, blooming in woodland glades in early spring. They don’t do that for me, though. I mean, they bloom very nicely, but they don’t form big colonies.
My colony of Bloodroot is a very tiny place, not at all like the original 13 American colonies. Well, maybe Rhode Island, or something like the Duchy of Fenwick from The Mouse That Roared. One reason it is not more extensive may be that I planted a Crabapple close by, which I suspect caused disruption of the Bloodroot patch.
I think of Bloodroot as bashful not only because they are so reluctant to grab new territory. The flowers are very transient: here today, gone tomorrow. And for a long time, the stems clasp the foliage tight, like a shy person at the beach who won’t put down their towel.
Maybe I just need to be patient with the Bloodroot. Enough time and it will come into its own.
When the leaves finally unfurl they look pretty interesting, heart-shaped and deeply lobed.
Bloodroot is a spring ephemeral, so the leaves fade away over the course of the summer.
When the seeds ripen, they are distributed by ants. In case you’re wondering, Bloodroot gets its name from the red sap found in the roots.
To finish off, here’s a nice picture Judy took at the Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware of Bloodroot with Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum).
Do you grow Bloodroot? And are they bashful in your garden?