March 21, 2003

Bloodroot

image copyright Fred First

Won't be long before the spring wildflowers start showing up. In our valley, Hepatica (Liverleaf) and Toothwort are among the first, followed by Bloodroot, seen here (in the one image that survived my hard drive crash; hundreds of other wildflower images didn't fare so well). The flowers of this poppy relative tend to bloom and drop petals quickly when the single leaf is still very small or not yet emerged. After the petals fall off, the sculpted leaf persists and grows large, soaking in the sun and making more roots to fuel the early Spring bloom of the following year.

Break the thick root and it 'bleeds'... quite convincingly. I've seen folks with weak stomachs have to look away from a broken bloodroot. Makes a nice face paint, too, that will last through a couple of washings. The Indians used it for "war paint". How timely.

Posted by fred1st at March 21, 2003 05:00 AM | TrackBack
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