Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Blooming Bloodroot!

The one-day wonders are way early this year. I just checked my records for the three previous years and found that bloodroot flowers bloomed on April 25 in ’07, April 21 in ’08 and April 20 in ’09. So ’10 comes along and blows those dates away with a blooming date of April 5!

I should probably warn my readers that this week is shaping up to be “flower week” at Roundtop Ruminations. Unless I get a great fallout of migrating birds at the cabin this week, you’ll be seeing and hearing about the woodland flowers most of this week.

Bloodroot is such a pretty flower that I wish it lasted longer than a day or 1.5 days. I have about 20 blooms at the edge of my driveway this and every year. I have to be careful when I bring the car in not to go just a few inches wide and damage them. That’s how close they are.

Bloodroot is a native flower, spread by ants, which probably tells you something else about where I live. The sap is reddish, hence the name. Apparently, when make into a paste, it destroys skin tissue, so it’s not a particularly safe or useful plant, except for its beauty.

Although it’s not something you can easily see from photos, bloodroot flowers are quite a bit larger than the more typical wood flowers. Many of the spring lovelies are tiny in the extreme, with flowers half an inch or smaller. Bloodroot flowers are about 2 inches across and very showy. The petals look somewhat waxy but don’t feel that way.

I'm still getting used to the fact that these flowers are blooming two weeks earlier than usual. That's a lot--a big "lot."  I'm going to mull that one over for a while.


dguzman said...

It's been so freakin' warm lately up here in Central PA that I'm going to head out tomorrow and look for boreal wildflowers. Not a lot of bird migrants yet, but like you I can appreciate those beautiful flowers!

Carolyn H said...

Good luck with those wildflowers. Seems to be more of those around than birds this week.

Carolyn H.


Very nice post about a beautiful native wildflower. Native Americans used blood root as a ceremonial skin stain and also as a fabric dye. In homeopathic remedies it is used for various ailments, one being a cancer salve. I have known many folks that have used these homeopathic solutions. But you are right -- use with care.-- barbara

Carolyn H said...

Barbara: I ready about the bloodroot paste being used as a skin cancer treatment--and I also read that destroying the skin around the cancer apparently spread the cancer and in some cases caused it to metastasize. I think i'll still with just looking at the bloodroot!

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I've been so out of the blogging loop recently, I didn't realize you'd posted this bloodroot piece on the same day. Sorry.

Odd, but I wrote about how late it was this year compared to the other wildflowers—hepaticas, spring beauties, Dutchman's breeches, etc. Most years I see it in mid-to-late March; this time around, it appeared last week and now is mostly gone. I was out this morning and while there are still a few to be found, the majority have dropped the blooms leaving only the leaf. I always think of bloodroot as coming before spring beauties—which it did again, but only by a few days. The spring beauties here are just beginning.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: I'm surprised to hear your wildflowers are late. I didn't think the weather where you are was so different than my own.

And after the heat wave? Maybe a frost.

Carolyn H

Kerry said...

You have an interesting blog. I live on the other side of the world: UK and we have had a longer winter than usual and plants here are later arriving.

I look forward to following your life.