Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Homage to the Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis

Also called 'puccoon-root and red indian paint'* the bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, has a single rolled leaf that wraps the flower stalk when it first emerges. The leaf, silver blue-green in color on the underside, slowly unfurls revealing a multi-lobed structure of interesting form. The flower is short lived even compared with other ephemerals. Puccoon, pronounced puh-coon is of Algonquin origins and the word describes plants of the genus Lithospermum. Litho = stone, spermum = seed. I guess the seed are hard as stone though I can't confirm that.

I don't know why I have a special interest in these wild spring flowers but I do. It may have something to do with the peek-a-boo briefness of bloom. A glimpse of something very precious.

Here's and interesting site http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H261.htm which has information on the medicinal uses of bloodroot.

*Wildflowers in Color, Arthur Stupka, 1965


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