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Bloodroot Leaves OOR

Bloodroot Leaves OOR

Bloodroot Leaves OOR

Very early in the spring, native wildflowers begin blooming in the forests of Wisconsin. One of the most easily recognizable of these wildflowers is bloodroot, an herbaceous perennial native to eastern North America, from Florida up into Canada. Sanguinaria canadensis is the only species in this genus in the poppy family (Papaveraceae). Other common names include bloodwort, Indian paint, puccoon, and red puccoon. This species is found in.undisturbed woodlands, on flood plains and on slopes near streams or ponds in zones 3-8. It is generally rare but can be locally abundant. The reddish sap that exudes from all parts of the plant, but especially the root, when cut is what prompted the common name of bloodroot.

Bloodroot

 

This species grows in clumps, producing leaves and flowers early in the season, then going dormant and disappearing by midsummer. The range in the shape of the leaves and flowers led to divisions into several subspecies, although most taxonomists now consider this just a highly variable species. The flowers and leaves are produced from a shallow-growing, branching, orange-colored rhizome. The rhizome, which is about one-half inch thick and up to four inches long, grows slowly, eventually branching to form a large colony. Bloodroot, used medicinally by Native Americans, contains compounds that are skin irritants and ingestion is not recommended.This native wildflower is best grown in moist, humusy, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade (in areas where it will receive sun for at least a few hours in early spring before the trees leaf out).

In time it will spread to form large colonies if conditions are appropriate. It is perfectly suited to woodland gardens or any shady areas where the plants can be allowed to naturalize. It combines well with other native woodland wildflowers as well as ferns, hosta, and Virginia Bluebells to provide early season interest before the ferns and hostas emerge. Those plants will then cover up the bloodroot foliage as it senesces in mid summer when the plants go dormant.Bloodroot is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants, a process called myrmecochory. The seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes, and put the seeds in their nest debris, where they are protected until they germinate. They also benefit from growing in a medium made richer by the ant nest debris. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

 

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