Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - bloodroot

This is a totally up to date posting because bloodroot is flowering presently in our woodland gardens, a bit late as it usually flowers in March, and without any doubt this is a favorite simply because it is so dang cute.  For the longest time only one small clump of bloodroot grew in our shady areas.  And the clump got pretty big, then after a number of years, bloodroot is suddenly coming up almost everywhere.  Apparently ant seed dispersers are doing their job.  
It also is an early flowering species, a true harbinger of spring, although another wild flower has that name locked down.  Sanguinaria canadensis is a member of the poppy family and like many members it has colored latex, in this case a bright orange-red.  It's possible that the name derives from the old doctrine of signatures, the blood color a sign or signature of the creator to indicate the plant's use or value to humans.  Lots of plant names bear witness to such beliefs.  

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