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Sanguinaria canadensis

Common Names: Bloodroot,
Sanguinaria canadensis
Sanguinaria canadensis

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Sanguinaria
Species: Sanguinaria canadensis

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Bloodroot plants grow to be around 6 inches tall. It has a single white flower, with 8-10 petals that surround a golden or orange center. It has basal leaves that are deeply lobed, butterfly-shaped, and grow from the root of the plant (seperate from the flower stalk). The leaves are radiate out from the center and continues to persist even after the flower has died.

Bloodroot in bloom. Image by James Dake.
Bloodroot in bloom. Image by James Dake.

Habitat & Range

Bloodroot is typically found in moist, shady woodlands and along riverbanks. It can be found throughout much of the eastern US and Canada.


During the winter, the plant dies back to the ground and regrows from the underground rhizome in the spring. Bloodroot is one of the earliest blooming plants, typically appearing in early spring before other plants have started to bloom.

Life Cycle

The seeds germinate in the spring and are triggered by warm temperatures and moisture. When the bloodroot reaches maturity, it blooms a single, white flower during April-May. After pollination, the flower produces a seed pod that contains several small, black seeds.

Featured image copyright Katie Bagnall-Newman, used here with permission.


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