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Bloodroot

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

FAMILY: Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)

FLOWERING PERIOD: Mid-March to late April

DISCRIPTION: Large showy flower with numerous white petals; ephemeral, petals often falling within a day. Single leaf enwraps stem at flowering time, eventually expands into a large rounded leaf with lobed margins and deep basal sinus.

DISTRIBUTION: Common statewide in appropriate habitat.

HABITAT: Rich soil in a variety of wooded habitats.

NOTES: The common name is derived from the acrid orange-red juices within the roots. This compound has been used as a dye. Many medicinal properties have been attributed to bloodroot, including treatments for asthma, fevers, lung conditions and laryngitis. An alkaloid from the plant, sanguinarine, is used commercially in mouthwash and toothpaste. It helps combat plaque.