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Bloodroot is an unusual plant that will work in any shady or semi shaded garden. Bloodroot gets its name because when you scratch the root it looks like a scraped finger it bleeds. Its kind off cool and kids find it fascinating.

Bloodroot grows from a rhizome that grows horizontally in the soil. The rhizome should be set just below the soil, no deeper. The rhizomes can be divided when the plants start to go dormant. Bloodroot can also be grown for seed. The seed should be sown as soon as it is ripe. It usually is ripe around the end of June. You really need to watch the seed pod and when it swells just to the breaking point you need to harvest the seed. If the pod splits before you get to it ants will carry it off. Ants love the sweet elaiosome that is attached to they seed. The elaiosome is a fleshy white appendage that is attached to the seed. Generally seeds with elaiosomes are ant dispersed and you need to harvest and plant them immediately to get the best germination. Bloodroot seeds also need a period of warmth, which would be going through the summer after you plant them and a period of cold,which would be the winter. In the spring some will germinate others will wait another full year. Patience.

Blood root has bright white flowers in the spring. The flowers don't last very long but are very bright and cheerful after a long winter. The leaves are round and scalloped and add a little personality to the garden. The flowers stand out and look great when planted next to trout lily or dog tooth violet.

Bloodroot need an area that will be shady or semi shady in the summer. They flower before leaves are on the trees so they do take full sun in the spring. In the summer to keep the leaves from going dormant they should have shade. So plant them under deciduous tress in soil rich in organic matter. This will keep them happy and encourage them to spread. Bloodroot provides early spring nectar for bees, flies and other insects.

Sanguinaria canadensis - Bloodroot

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  • -Beautiful bright white flowers in early spring

    -Unusual scalloped leaves that last into August

     -Bloodroot provides interesting leaves in the shade garden

    -Provides early spring nectar and pollen for bees and flies

    -Height: 6 to 11 inches tall

    -Zone: 3 to 9

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