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Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

When the shy bloodroot flower peeks out from its one protecting leaf, we know that spring has come to stay.  The amazing single leaf can wrap completely around the flower!  We’ve always been fascinated by it.

Years ago, before we knew it was endangered , the children dug some plants up and we were all startled by the intense redness of the juice.  How fascinating that this self-same juice was used as war-paint by Native Indians! It is also an effective fabric dye, and has has many medicinal properties, although it is toxic. 

Since bloodroot is an endangered species, you should grow your own if you wish to experiment with the dye.   It prefers moist, shady areas; we have several colonies of it in the woods near a stream.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is the seventh entry in our personal 100-Species Challenge.



  1. Briana says:

    Very interesting. It has a pretty flower.

  2. I would think there is some of this around us, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it. I will have to look, now!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I hope you find some, but it may already have finished blooming in your area. It is definitely an early spring flower, coinciding with tulips in our area.

      Annie Kate

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