Wildflower of the day

Yet another wildflower I haven’t noticed in past Springs.


Sanguinaria canadensis, also known as bloodroot or bloodwort, is named for its blood-red root. I pulled one up. There’s no mistaking this plant. The root even seemed a bit liquid, its red sap oozing as if it were bleeding. Native Americans used this as a dye and for some medicinal purposes, though it is considered toxic with a structure similar to morphine. From William Cook’s 1869 work The Physiomedical Dispensatory:

The U. S. Dispensatory says four persons lost their lives at Bellevue Hospital, New York, by drinking largely of blood root tincture in mistake for ardent spirits […].

Ardent spirits; with a structure similar to morphine? I bet it seemed “ardent”. It sure is a pretty flower, though!

According to Wikipedia (see link above. Like everything in Wiki, needs further research), the bloodroot derived toxin sanguinarine is allowed in commercially prepared toothpaste. Uh?

5 responses to “Wildflower of the day

  1. That’s a lovely photo of the flower. The news that its extract can be used in toothpaste was both interesting and yucky. lol

    • I thought so too! Makes you wonder what is in the products we use everyday. But, I know that most medicines are originally derived from plants. Yucky that it is considered a toxin, yet is used.

  2. Great post today. I really enjoyed your photos very much. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I love the fact you included information about the flower… thanks.