Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blood Root


Bloodroot is a variable species growing from 20 to 50 cm tall, normally with one large, sheath-like basal multi-lobed leaf up to 12 cm across. The flowers are produced from March to May, with 8-12 delicate white petals and yellow reproductive parts. The flowers appear over clasping leaves while blooming. Plants are variable in leaf and flower shape and have in the past been separated out as different subspecies due to these variable shapes; currently most taxonomic treatments lump these different forms into one highly variable species. Bloodroot stores sap in an orange colored rhizome, that grows shallowly under or at the soil surface. Over many years of growth, the branching rhizome can grow into a large colony. Plants start to bloom before the foliage unfolds in early spring and after blooming the leaves expand to their full size and go summer dormant in mid to late summer. Plants are found growing in moist to dry woods and thickets, often on flood plains and near shores or streams on slopes, they grow less frequently in clearings and meadows or on dunes, and are rarely found in disturbed sites. The flowers are pollinated by small bees and flies, seeds develop in elongated green pods 40 to 60 mm in length and ripen before the foliage goes dormant. The seeds are round in shape and when ripe are black to orange-red in color. Deer will feed on the plants in early spring.




Caution: the sap is toxic;

5 comments:

Grace and Bradley said...

I just about to write can I see the real flower, then I see the photo of your last blog. What a nice pretty flowering plant.

Marlene said...

Thank you for posting about the flower. It is very unusual and I will keep an eye open for it when I am in an area it may be.

Dena E's Blog said...

Gorgeous blooms and Love the puppies and kitties,just adorable and fun for you..Thanks for popping by my blog and do enjoy this weather Sweetie.
From 1 Iowa Lady to another~~~Hugs Dena

A Garden of Threads said...

Thank you for becoming a follower, the bloodroot post was great, and the photo lovely. Have a wonderful day and take care.

The Japanese Redneck said...

I don't ever remember seeing those around her. Deer eat them. Hum, don't tell my husband. He'll want some for the food plots!