Saturday, April 20, 2013

April: Bloodroot

These melt my heart every spring.  The first flowers to open, except for crocus snowdrops etc.
These were collected by my father in the 1930s in Canada, close to where he grew up.  They moved to Littleton Maine, then to Wiscasset, Brunswick, Freeport and on to Mansfield, Mass.  Some have moved back to Maine in my sister's property as well.  They last no time at all.  The petals are quick to fall when the wind blows or they are touched, but while they are there, they are a brilliant white, and they spread readily, especially in woodsy soil.  Available in a few catalogues.  The leaves grow into big heart shapes for a long time, then they die to the ground in mid summer, until next year.
The roots were used medicinally by the indians and their scarlet juice was used as a dye.

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