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Sanguinaria canadensis L.
Synonym(s): Sanguinaria canadensis var. rotundifolia
USDA Symbol: SACA13
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
The single bloodroot leaf and flower each rise on a separate stem, and at first the leaf completely enwraps the flower bud. The clear, white, many-petaled blossom may open before the leaf has completely unwrapped, rising slightly above the leaf to a height of 6-10 in. Leaves, which are large, round and deeply cleft, eventually reach a height of 12-14 in. On a smooth stalk a solitary white flower, with a golden-orange center, grows beside a lobed basal leaf that often curls around the stalk. Roots and stem with acrid red-orange juice.
This fragile spring flower develops and rises from the center of its curled leaf, opening in full sun, and closing at night. Like most members of the Poppy Family, it lasts for a relatively short time. The red juice from the underground stem was used by Indians as a dye for baskets, clothing, and war paint, as well as for insect repellent. The generic name, from the Latin sanguinarius, means bleeding.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
, WV Canada: MB
, QC Native Distribution:
E. Que. to Man., s. to FL, AL
& TX Native Habitat:
upland & floodplain woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist , Wet Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) Soil Description:
Moist to mesic, well-drained, humus-rich soils. Conditions Comments:
Bloodroots spread rapidly and make an excellent ground cover. Mulch the plants with a thin layer of deciduous
leaves during the winter. Effective as groundcover around the base of trees, seeds dispersed by ants.
The red juice from the underground stem
was used by First Nations People as a dye for baskets, clothing, and war paint, as well as for insect repellent. (Niering) Warning:
POISONOUS PARTS: Rhizome
(thickened roots). May be fatal if ingested! Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, faintness, dizziness, dilated pupils, fainting, diarrhea, heart failure. Toxic Principle: Isoquinoline alkaloids. Conspicuous Flowers:
The most reliable method of propagation is by seed. Plant seeds immediately after collection as they must not be allowed to dry out. Propagate by rhizome
division in either fall or early spring. (Wear gloves and wash your hands after handling the roots Seed Collection:
Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: Early to mid-Jun. Seeds ripen apporximately four weeks after the plant has flowered. Storage must be brief and the seeds must not be allowed to dry out. Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Alternative names for Aquilegia Sanguinaria
May 03, 2006
I am looking for the common name for a flower called Aquilegia Sanguinaria. Can you help? Does this even exist?
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff