{Almost} Wordless Wednesday :: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis)

Posted on: April 22nd, 2015 by Trillium Art

Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently,
Nourish the life of the world in our care:
Gift of great wonder, ours to surrender
Trust for the children tomorrow will bear.
S.E. Murray, 1991

Happy Earth Day! A year ago today we moved into our new property. It’s hard to believe that we have spent a whole year in this beautiful space! I must admit the weather today is exactly as it was last year! LOL

The theme for Earth Day 2015 is Clean Your Commute with the focus on how to choose clean options to reduce your impact on the environment. This got me thinking how I can clean my commute…which is tricky since I work from home. 🙂

So this morning, between the snow showers, my furry friend and I took an extra bag with us on our morning walk (aka our commute) and cleaned up as much trash along the trail that we could see. This meant delving deeper into the woods to retrieve pop cans and more plastic but I had a ready participant wanting to explore.

I kept my eyes open for any new wildflowers that might have a head start. We saw lots of green shoots, but no flowers yet. I started thinking about which early wildflowers we might be seeing shortly and I remembered about seeing the beautiful white flowers of the Bloodroot taken at the Guelph Arboretum a few years ago. It won’t be long now!

This native woodland wildflower is one of the first to bloom in the spring, such a welcome sight after winter. They prefer sites that are slightly moist in the early spring and under deciduous trees where they receive the brightest of light this time of year. The leaf appears first, wrapped around the flower bud. The plant will start to bloom before the foliage completely opens. After blooming, the leaves completely unfurl and then go dormant during the summer heat.


The pure white flowers are very showy with multiple petals complete with golden stamens. They grow in clumps where the rhizomes grow longer each year, expanding the groups.

The common name of this wildflower, Bloodroot, comes from the red juice from the roots and is poisonous. This is definitely a plant to keep animals and small children away from. The sap was used by Native American artists as a red natural dye…hopefully used with care! I have read that there is ongoing studies using this plant’s roots and its extracts in cancer treatments and skin conditions.


I am looking forward to seeing them in bloom again. I will make sure my furry friend stays away as I capture them with my camera!

Zone: 3
Light Conditions: part shade to full shade
Height: 4-6”
Spread: 6-8”
Flower Power: pure white with 8-12 petals in early spring from mid-April to May
Foliage: light green, rounded with deep lobes
Soil: prefers a site under deciduous trees that is moist in early spring
Special Notes: the roots have a blood-red juice, hence the name, this plant contains the poisonous alkaloid ‘sanguinarine’

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