Blood Root

bloodroot - Sanguinaria canadensis
 ---Synonyms---Indian Paint. Tetterwort. Red Pucoon. Red Root. Paucon. Coon Root. Snakebite. Sweet Slumber.
---Parts Used---Root, whole plant.
---Habitat---United States of America and Canada, found in rich open woods from Canada, south to Florida and west to Arkansas. and Nebraska. 
 
 A perennial plant, one of the earliest and most beautiful spring flowers. In England it will grow freely if cultivated carefully, it has even grown in the open in gravelly dry soil in the author's garden. It has a lovely white flower and produces only a single leaf and a flowering scape about 6 inches high. When the leaf first appears it is wrapped round the flower bud and is a greyish-green colour covered with a downy bloom - Leaves palmate five to nine lobed, 6 to 10 inches long. After flowering the leaves increase in size, the underside paler showing prominent veins. The white flower is wax-like with golden stamens. The seed is an oblong narrow pod about 1 inch long. The rootstock is thick, round and fleshy, slightly curved at ends, and contains an orange-red juice, and is about 1 to 4 inches long, with orange-red rootlets. When dried it breaks with a short sharp fracture, little smell, taste bitter acrid and persistent, powdered root causes sneezing and irritation of the nose. The root is collected in the autumn, after leaves die down; it must be stored in a dry place or it quickly deteriorates.