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Spring Wildflowers at Creekside: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

There are many beautiful woodland wildflowers that bloom beside our woodland trails at Creekside in the spring.   Among these, one of the easiest to spot are the white, waxy blooms of the bloodroot flower.  Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) usually blooms in here in early to mid April.  Each stalk bears a single white flower with a golden-orange center.  The flowers open with the sun and close at night.  It is a member of the Poppy Family (Papaveraceae) and gets both its botanical name and its common name from the red juice that is contained in its roots and stems.  According to the National Audubon Society’s Field Guide to Wildflowers, this red juice was use by Native Americans as a dye for baskets, clothing and war paint, as well as for insect repellent.   It grows in colonies in rich woodland soil and along streams.  Be sure to look for it when you visit the Allegheny Mountains this spring.

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