Sanguinaria canadensis

Common Names: Bloodroot, bloodwort, redroot, red puccoon, pauson, tetterwort
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Poppy family

Plants are variable in leaf and flower shape and have in the past been separated out as different subspecies due to these variable shapes. Currently most taxonomic treatments include these different forms in one highly variable species. Bloodroot grows from 20 to 50 cm tall. It has one large basal leaf, up to 12 cm across, with five to nine lobes. The leaves and flowers sprout from a reddish rhizome with bright orange sap that grows at or slightly below the soil surface. The rhizomes grow longer each year, and branch to form colonies. The flowers have 8 to 12 delicate white petals and yellow stamens, and two sepals below the petals, which fall off after the flowers open. The flower stems are clasped by the leaves.

Found growing in moist to dry woods and thickets, often on flood plains and near shores or streams on slopes. Plants start to bloom before the foliage unfolds in early spring. After blooming the leaves expand to their full size and go summer dormant in mid to late summer.

Primary Flower Color: White
Secondary Flower Color: Yellow
Edible Notes: Poisonous.
Warnings: Contains sanguinarine which is toxic and kills animal cells. The juice from this plant is dangerous to touch and may cause a localized injury/scab.