The Plant Store is now closed for 2023 and will re-open for sales in May of 2024

  • Please see the Using the Plant Library  page  for some tips on how to make the most of the information here to select species for creating a healthy native plant community suited to the conditions of your site.

Sanguinaria canadensis, Bloodroot

Sanguinaria canadensis

Bloodroot

  • Partial shade or summer shade under trees
  • Average to rich forest soil
  • 8" to 12 height, 12" to 18" spacing.
  • Ontario Native, Beginner Friendly, Happy in open woodlands, forests and cultivated gardens.

I think that I’ve taken nearly as many photographs of the leaves of this woodland perennial as I have of the flowers. Both are equally appealing to my eye.
The blooms are graceful and very ephemeral. Appearing every spring in the very last days of April or the very first days of May. They open in the sun and close again in the evening, remaining closed on cloudy days. In a cool spring, bloom season can last eight to ten days, in a warm spring it can be as short as three days. They are an annual reminder to look closely and not miss the ephemeral magic of plants and seasons.
Their foliage emerges from the soil wrapped around the flower buds like a leafy blanket, unfurling over the few days of the blooming season and then continuing to expand into lush green surfaces with intricate veining that look to me like a little piece of an aquatic ecosystem come to land.
From two small plants tucked into a year-old garden about six years ago, they have expanded into the lovely patch you can see here.
I’m incredibly pleased that they have now self-seeded and the babies have matured enough that they are starting to bloom and set seed for the next generation. Their thriving is a sign that the soil life has recovered, from the struggling turf that the space was filled with when I first came to it, to the point that native woodland species are feeling truly at home.
I was sufficiently attentive of the maturing seed pods this summer that I was able to gather some fresh seed, which went directly into pots that were tucked into a wire mesh box in the shade to keep them safe from critters. Hopefully there will be many more babies next spring!
Like many woodland species, Bloodroot is adapted to areas with bright sunshine at the start of the growing season that transitions to shade as the leaves of the deciduous tree canopy fill in a few weeks later.
While not fond of dry locations, they can adapt by going dormant after the seed pods mature and burst open in early summer. If grown in a damp woodland setting, the foliage can stay fairly fresh until late summer. Bloodroots plants grow to around 8” tall and slowly expand to form a patch, as you can see in the photos.

Species that were not sown / aren't being sown for 2023 are marked with an * 
Species that are native to this continent, but not historically native to Ontario are marked with a ~ 
While it rarely comes up, I do reserve the right to limit plant quantities, mostly to help ensure that as many native plant gardens as possible become a reality
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