Monday, April 27, 2009

My Favorite Flower: Bloodroot

Why is bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadense) my favorite flower? Just look at it! It GLOWS in the sunlight. Raindrops bead up on the petals and the leaves. Spring sees it emerge as a curled vertical tube of leaf. The flowers are brief; what a treat to find them before they are shot. This year, wind and rain battered and pelted them several times so they were at their peak for only a couple days. The flower is followed by a strange seed pod. Stems can appear orange from the orange sap. The leaves uncurl and flatten out to provide a pretty ground cover. The leaf surface is matt texture that looks fuzzy or waxy but is neither. If the summer turns dry, they die back and disappear underground until the next spring. My two patches that are near each other in the front yard display great deal of diversity such as happens in a open-pollinated seed-spread colony. Large flowers with petals in layers of 4 such that the flower appears almost square appear with others that have wider petals that form more of a round flower. There are 8 petaled flowers and 12 petaled flowers. The yellow center clearly shows the classic single female pistil in the very center surrounded by the pollen-carrying male stamens. So much beauty and so much botany right there!

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