Bloodroot (Where’s the Blood?)

Bloodroot is a beautiful wildflower found in early spring. A hike yesterday on Lake Bemidji State Park’s Rocky Point Trail revealed large numbers of blooming bloodroot. Despite their name which conjures up images bathed in red, the bloodroot blossom is a beautiful white flower. The plant stands 6-10 inches tall, has 8 to 12 petals in its flowers, and has large lobed leaves.

Bloodroot WildflowerSo, where’s the blood? The name comes from the red juice in its leaves, stems, and roots. It was/is used as a natural red dye, especially by Native American artists. Bloodroot has also been used in assorted medicinal remedies over the years, including dental hygiene products, cancer treatments, and for wart removal. Gardeners enjoy cultivated versions as ornamental plants in their gardens.

White wildflower closing its bloomThe flower opens wide on sunny days, but on cloudy days or as evening draws nigh, it closes its petals.

Bloodroot leaf with spent flowerWhile bloodroot leaves continue to grow after the blossom is spent and can be found all summer, the time period for seeing them in bloom is a short stretch in early spring. They are at their peak right now (May 1st) – I recommend you get out there and check ‘um out. (Bring your cameras.)

White wildflower with lobed leaves


~ by Pinetree Photo Nature Discovery on May 1, 2012.

4 Responses to “Bloodroot (Where’s the Blood?)”

  1. I brought blood root into my garden from the woods because I thought it was so pretty. Transplanting it I discovered the blood inside the stems…..dark red fluid. I am intending to fool around with dyeing using it this summer.

  2. Beautiful photos…and some great information…thanks.

  3. Love the sharp, clear closeups. The leaves are very beautiful too.

  4. Thank you so much for the information. I love learning the names and such of our natural world. And such good photos, too!

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