This is one of my favorite spring wildflowers; the first sign of the leaves protruding through the dry leaves on the woodland floor is always a great joy. Flowers are white or rarely light pink, usually with 8 petals, although there are natural forms with up to 16 petals. They have no nectar but provide pollen to some of the spring insects; a few ant species also benefit from eating the seed appendages, helping the dispersal. It can be variable as height, growing from 20-40 cm tall.
Medicinal uses: Traditionally Sanguinaria had been employed by the Native Americans in various ways. The red sap was used by the natives as a body paint, cloths and baskets dye and as a love charm. Ponca Indian bachelors believed that rubbing the juice on their palms before shaking hands with the desired partner would bring good luck to their love quest! But there is so much more to say about the bloodroot – you can read about it in the BLOG section.
Germination: best sown right away after collecting or throughout the season if kept moist and allowed to follow the outdoor temperatures (warm-cold cycle). Some seeds will start to germinate (root only) in cold storage by February, others later in the spring (root and shoots) but a percentage of the seeds will germinate completely (shoots) in the second year, it is variable.