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Plant of the Week: Sanguinaria canadensis

Plant of the Week! Another lovely woodland spring ephemeral is Sanguinaria canadensis, Bloodroot. A short-statured, rhizomatous plant, its bright white flowers are a welcome sight among the duff on the forest floor. It produces only basal leaves, which are wrapped around the flower stalks. The leaves slowly unfurl while the flower fades away. The blooming period is fairly short at just two weeks, and individual flowers will only last a day or two. This shouldn’t discourage you from having Bloodroot in your garden though, as the leaves themselves are quite attractive: they are grey-green and have a unique lobe pattern and prominent venation. The leaves and roots contain a bright red sap, giving the plant its name. This sap is toxic, and the plant is rarely browsed by mammals.

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