Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Today was insanely crazy in a good way!  I didn’t even have time to get my camera out as it was non-stop action at the Horticulture Center despite the steady drizzle we had this morning.  Bob C. and Alan M. headed out for garden work in the rain and Pat C. was in to start the inventory on our signage repair/replacement needs.  She does a great job and will have plenty of work as she goes area to area.  Gary was inside producing labels for incoming plants.  We had two new volunteers (Sandra and Pat S.) come in to get an orientation and they jumped right in with our Spring cleaning which was led by Janice and included Kathy, Eva and Cheryl D.  The Horticulture Center office and break room look great!  Vern, Jim, Ron Y. and Bob K. continued on their carpentry projects.  Bob K. also had some electrical work to accomplish.  Our painters today included Dr. Gredler, Gary B., Peg L. and Alan M.  Marv and Terry helped organize and tidy the greenhouses and worked on preparing for the influx of many plants over the coming weeks (some arrived today!).  They even potted a couple of items up already.  Dick H. ran to the dump many times and Maury ran multiple errands for us.  We also saw Bill O., Rollie, Dr. Yahr, Jumbo Jim and many others today.
The bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) featured in this blog is just barely breaking through the soil but will be another woodland perennial that is quick to bloom and send out foliage.  Native to a wide range of Eastern North America, this plant is best grown in moist, humusy, well-drained soils in part shade or shade.  Usually they are getting ample sunlight under a deciduous canopy and blooming before it becomes too shady.  The 2″ wide, clear white blooms close at night and there are some nice forms with double flowers.  This native will gradually perennialize with slowly expanding rhizomes and all parts of this plant exude a bright, reddish/orange sap when cut or damaged (a natural dye plant).  The seeds are spread by ants and it’s nice to see this true harbinger of spring offer such beautiful blooms and interesting foliage.  The plant goes dormant by mid summer although the lobed foliage may take on some yellow tints well in to late summer (see further below).