Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Genus:Sanguinaria
Family:Papaveraceae (Poppy)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:native
Habitat:part shade, shade; woods
Bloom season:March - May
Plant height:6 to 12 inches
USDA PLANTS database:Minnesota county distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals

[photo of flower] A single flower is at the end of a naked stem growing directly from the ground. Each flower typically has 8 to 10 white petals, but double flowers sometimes occur. The petals have many parallel veins and often 4 of the petals are longer than the others. In the center is a cluster of many golden yellow-tipped stamens. A flower blooms for only a day or two before dying.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: lobed

[photo of leaves] Leaves are basal and lobed in 3 to 9 parts, generally round in outline, up to 5 inches long and wide with a deep indent at the base. The leaf edges are scalloped or have large rounded teeth. A leaf initially wraps around the flower stalk but opens up and reaches full size when the flower wilts, its stem elongating several inches. Leaf and flower stems both are round and smooth with a reddish tint.

Fruit:

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a spindle-shaped capsule about 1 inch long, containing 10 to 15 seeds.

Notes:

A red juice bleeds from broken stems, leaves and roots, and is where the common name originates.

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More photos

Photos taken at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, Nerstrand, MN and Wild River State Park, Center City, MN April-June 2008

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Leslile - St Paul
on: 2009-05-22 11:29:22

Our backyard backs up to Battle Creek Park - My husband spotted 2 small but plentifully blooming spots in the park during walks and at the same time we found 6-10 volunteers growing just outside our bedroom window. A fascinating plant to watch - we are now getting the seed pods and will try to grow it. Certainly hope they come back next year.

Posted by: Fred - Le Sueur co
on: 2009-05-30 15:52:00

In a small woods on my property in Le Sueur County, there are several large patches of bloodroots that bloom each spring -- this year the first blossoms had appeared by April 17, according to my notes.

Posted by: Tara - Scott county, Savage
on: 2010-04-07 19:06:04

spotted in the back yard, hard to see because of the leaf cover, flower still closed. Tiny plant with pure white flowers and butter yellow stamens. One of the first few wildflowers to emerge to announce spring. I will have to watch it in the next few days to see the flower open.

Posted by: Pam - Stanchfield
on: 2010-05-05 02:48:25

All of our blooms were gone the last week in April.

Posted by: Kristi - Goodhue County
on: 2012-03-26 16:00:51

Bloodroot is already blooming. Saw it in the woods yesterday. A surprise for March.

Posted by: Mary - Rice Creek West Regional Trail
on: 2012-03-28 10:29:40

Many patches of blood root along the side of the trail. The leaves are still folded around the flower stem like they were hugging the flower. Very pretty.

Posted by: Sally - Ney Nature Center near Henderson, MN
on: 2012-04-01 17:11:07

Early this year! Very perky, and blooms are quite large.

Posted by: Jill - Yellow Medicine County along MN River
on: 2012-04-08 13:31:32

We have several patches growing in our yard. In addition, the ditches are full of these small, pretty flowers.

Posted by: Adam - Beaver island trails
on: 2012-04-14 17:53:15

Along the main path and the dirt path.

Posted by: connie - Tenstrike, mn
on: 2012-04-21 18:52:09

Found many patches of these flowers growing in the road dithes. The first time we've ever seen these.

Posted by: Vickie - Cosslake
on: 2012-04-24 20:54:50

finally after 2 years my transplanted ones bloomed...6 blossoms! so delicate and pretty.

Posted by: Carol - Otter Tail County
on: 2012-04-30 13:36:50

While looking for morel mushrooms in our woods, we have come across many of these beautiful little wildflowers this week! I wish we'd find as many mushrooms as there are these flowers!

Posted by: Janelle - Glendalough State Park
on: 2012-05-04 09:16:18

We found these growing in the woods in Glendalough State Park, (in Battle Lake Minnesota) on April 30th and May 1st.

Posted by: Gail - Eden Prairie
on: 2013-05-08 10:01:45

We have several small patches in our wooded, Eden Prairie back yard. I noticed the flowers on May 6.

Posted by: Suzi - Ogema Mn
on: 2013-05-24 12:05:04

We have these growing in our little woods next to the house. My mom would call them May floweres because they would always bloom in May.

Posted by: Pat - Minnetrista
on: 2013-06-29 19:28:27

Blood root has been growing in several spots on our property which has a small segment of woods. The trees are self seeded maple and elm which have all been removed now either from natural dying, dutch elm disease (we removed) or lightning which took our last tree which was about 100 feet tall and about 100-130 years old. I wasn't able to get back there this spring to see the blood root because of an injury but I have seen them every year for the 25 years we have been here.

Posted by: Kate - Carver
on: 2014-05-04 17:34:46

Spotted these flowers today for the first time. Ventured down the hill of our wooded conservation area behind our house. Sure sign of spring!

Posted by: Joe - Cannon Falls
on: 2014-05-05 10:47:53

I saw these along the Cannon Valley Trail on May 3, 2014.

Posted by: Susan - Duluth MN
on: 2014-05-18 18:38:04

Blooming in large patches along the Munger Trail today, near Jay Cooke State Park.

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