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Bloodroot, Red Indian Paint, Red Puccoon - Sanguinaria canadensis


Family: Papaveraceae Poppy family Genus Common Name: Bloodroot Native Status: Native
Sanguinaria canadensis - Bloodroot, Red Indian Paint, Red Puccoon. Sanguinaria canadensis is a beautiful white early spring wildflower. Bloodroot gets its name from the red juice of the root, caused by the compound sanguinarine. While sanguinarine has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal characteristics, it can be toxic, so do not ingest it.

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

Journal Articles Referencing Bloodroot

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Distribution of Sanguinaria canadensis in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 01 Oct 2014). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2009-March-07Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/200 f/8 ISO100
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm 4-5.6G ED
185mm (277 equiv)
Bloodroot blooms in the early spring with a beautiful blossom having white petals and many golden-yellow stamens. The green pistil is usually less prominent than in this photo, being hidden among the stamens.
Sanguinaria canadensis

Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2009-March-01Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/125 f/5.6 ISO100
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm 4-5.6G ED
200mm (300 equiv) Flash: Yes
This is what Sanguinaria canadensis looks like as it first emerges from the ground in spring - a single leaf tightly wrapped around the flower bud, both on a single stem.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sanguinaria canadensis

Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2009-February-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/4 f/8 ISO100
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm 4-5.6G ED
200mm (300 equiv)
Once the leaf unclasps the flower bud, it rises above the leaf on its peduncle. Here you see the blossom's 2 sepals separating to expose the petals, which are pink at this stage, but will turn white as they open. The sepals will drop off soon after the blossom opens.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sanguinaria canadensis

Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2008-March-26Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D40
1/125 f/5.6 ISO500
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm 4-5.6G ED
200mm (300 equiv)
The bloodroot leaf stays close to the blossom with which it shares a stem arising from the rhizome. The 9-lobed leaf will continue to grow after flowering and may reach 8 inches across. The flower in this photograph has 15 petals, more than most. While some publications say bloodroot has 8-10 petals, I've found numerous plants with more.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sanguinaria canadensis

Site: The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, Walker County, GA Date: 2009-March-09Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
1/125 f/5.6 ISO180
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm 4-5.6G ED
185mm (277 equiv) Flash: Yes
Numerous bloodroot leaf/flower stems can arise from a single plant rhizome, giving the apearance of a colony of plants.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sanguinaria canadensis

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2014
Photographs Copyrighted by the named photographer