Wildflower Week: Bloodroot

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria Canadensis, is also known by folkname as Indian Paint, Indian Plant, King Root, Sweet Slumber, and Tetterwort. It is a small perennial growing up to six inches tall, and thrives best sheltered along wet banks, in fields, and in shady woods with rich soils in North America. It is one of the earliest spring flowers, closing at night and on cloudy days.

Bloodroot can be seen wrapping its leaves gently around its stem in sweet and affectionate gesture — perhaps why it is considered a token of and talisman for love.

Bloodroot was used by Native Americans as a body paint because of a rich, red dye made from its rhizome. A bachelor of the Ponca tribe would rub a piece of the root on his palm, then shake hands with the woman he desired to marry. It is said the girl would be willing to marry him shortly thereafter.

Many use Bloodroot to avert evil spells and negativity, which love can do, too—don’t you think?

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Photos ©2012, Jen Payne

Source: The Magi’s Garden website and Alternatives from Nature by RainBear

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