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Plant Description


Sanguinaria canadensis L.

En: redroot, bloodroot, red puccoon
Fr: sanguinaire du Canada, sang-dragon
Oj: jiibik, miskiijiibik, meskojiibikak, miskwijiibik, miskojiibik, meskwijiibikak

Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)

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Sanguinaria canadensishab Sanguinaria canadensislvs Sanguinaria canadensisflw


General: A low, perennial forb, to 4 dm tall, smooth (glabrous), with 1 leaf and 1 flower growing from a thick, shallow rhizome with orange-red sap, hence the common name "bloodroot". Sanguinaria is one of the earliest and most attractive of the spring flowers in Ontario.

Leaves: Basal, simple, palmately-lobed and veined, smooth (glabrous), petiolate. The single leaf is wrapped around the flower bud as it emerges and continues to expand after the fruit has set. Leaf blades round (orbicular) in general outline, with 5–9 lobes, 1–2.8 dm wide; upper surface green, lower surface with a slightly paler bloom (glaucous), heavily veined; the petiole and prominent veins orange to reddish; leaf base cordate; apex rounded; margins wavy (undulate); petiole 2–4 dm long.

Flowers: Bisexual, solitary, 2–5 cm wide, borne on a stalk (scape), 5–15 cm tall. Sepals 2, falling soon after the flower opens (caducous); petals 8, white, oblong to oblanceolate, the tips rounded; stamens numerous; pistil 1, with a superior ovary. Flowers bloom in early spring.

Fruit: A ellipsoid to fusiform capsule, smooth (glabrous), 3–5 cm long. Fruits mature in early summer.

Habitat and Range: Rich, deciduous and mixedwood forests. Sanguinaria canadensis is native to eastern North America; in Ontario, it occurs as far north as Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay District), the Batchawana region (Algoma District), and Timmins (Sudbury District).

Internet Images: See the Sanguinaria canadensis webpage from the Gallery of Connecticut Wildflowers, a website of the Connecticut Botanical Society.

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