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?