Alphabetical Plant Listing

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

Canada Puccoon, Bloodroot, Red Puccoon, Bloodwort, Cornroot, Indian Paint, Red Indian Paint, Snakebite, Sweet Slumber, Tetterwort, Turmeric


Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot) is a rhizomatous perennial boasting solitary, brilliant white flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), adorned with a showy bouquet of yellow stamens in early to mid spring. The flowers usually have eight symmetrically arranged petals, but some forms have up to sixteen petals. The flowers open up in sun, but remain closed on cloudy days and at night. They last only a few days, but additional flowers arise over a 2-week period. The charming blossoms appear as the blue-gray leaves unfurl. Emerging in spring, each flower stalk is wrapped by one palmate, deeply-scalloped basal leaf. As the flower blooms, the leaf unfurls. The foliage will remain attractive until mid to late summer when the plant goes dormant. All parts of the plant exude a red-orange sap when cut, hence the common name. The red sap was used by Indians as a dye for baskets, clothing, and war paint, as well as for insect repellent. Quite resilient, Sanguinaria canadensis spreads by running rhizomes to form a lovely carpet over time. It is perfectly suited to woodland gardens or any shady areas where it can be allowed to naturalize.

  • Grows up to 6-10 in. tall (15-25 cm) and 3-6 in. wide (7-15 cm). 
  • Easily grown in humus-rich, moist, well-drained soils in part shade or full shade.
  • A welcomed addition to shaded gardens, rock gardens, naturalized areas, wild gardens or woodland gardens. Perfect for plantings under perennials or shrubs.
  • Sanguinaria canadensis combines well with other woodland wildflowers as well as ferns, hosta, and Virginia bluebells to provide early season interest before the ferns and hostas emerge. Those plants will then cover up the bloodroot foliage in mid summer when the plants go dormant.
  • Generally pest and disease free.
  • Propagate by division in autumn or spring or by propagate by seed in autumn; germination can be erratic over the following 2 years.
  • Native to eastern and central North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 6" – 10" (15cm – 25cm)
Spread 3" – 6" (7cm – 15cm)
Spacing 6" (15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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By Candia Baxter, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 9
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 6" – 10" (15cm – 25cm)
Spread 3" – 6" (7cm – 15cm)
Spacing 6" (15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought, Rabbit
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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