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Author:Photo by and (c)2007 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man)
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Sanguinaria canadensis - Bloodroot Seed - Sheffield`s Seed Co., Inc.
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Sanguinaria canadensis


Recalcitrant seeds need refrigeration. Since shipping times are out of our control, we are not liable for seed condition upon arrival.
In Stock: 0.305 lb (Total:0.305lb)
  • Sanguinaria canadensis

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Buying options

0.3 lb


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
0.3 lb
Collected in:
St. Joe
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: warm stratify for 30 days, cold stratify for 60 days
Germination: sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Other: germination may be delayed until the following year 

Sanguinaria canadensis, also known as Bloodroot, is a beautiful perennial plant native to eastern North America. It belongs to the family Papaveraceae and is the only species in the genus Sanguinaria. This plant has a rich history of uses and is highly valued for its unique characteristics.

Bloodroot gets its name from the red sap and root that it produces. This sap was traditionally used as a face paint by Native American Indians and as a source of red dye. However, caution is advised as the sap is toxic and should not be ingested or applied to the body without proper knowledge.

The appearance of Bloodroot is quite variable, with leaves that are roundish with wavy lobes. The scape and petals also vary in length, making each plant unique. It blooms in early spring, producing delicate white flowers with 8-12 petals and yellow reproductive parts. The flowers appear over clasping leaves, creating a stunning display. After blooming, the leaves expand to their full size and go dormant in mid to late summer.

Bloodroot thrives in moist to dry woods and thickets, often found on flood plains, shores, or near streams. It can also be found in clearings, meadows, and even on dunes, although less frequently. It prefers cool, moist, acid woodland soil and can grow in semi-shade or no shade.

The growth of Bloodroot is facilitated by ants, as they help spread its seeds through a process called myrmecochory. The seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and deposit the seeds in their nest debris. This provides protection and a nutrient-rich environment for the seeds to germinate.

Bloodroot is not only a beautiful wildflower, but it also plays a role in various ecosystems. It provides food for small bees and flies, which help pollinate the plant. Deer also feed on the plants in early spring, contributing to their dispersal.

In recent years, Bloodroot has gained attention as an ingredient in compound cough remedies. However, it contains the poisonous alkaloid sanguinarine, and caution is advised when using it medicinally. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has characterized Sanguinaria canadensis as an unsafe herb. Native Americans used it medicinally for various purposes, including treating ulcers and sores, croup, cramps, burns, tapeworms, fevers, and irregular periods.

Overall, Bloodroot is a fascinating and unique plant that adds beauty to its surroundings. Its vibrant flowers, variable leaves, and historical uses make it a valuable addition to any garden or natural space.

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