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Sanguinaria Canadensis - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Sanguinaria Canadensis - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Sanguinaria Canadensis Described.

Sanguinaria Canadensis - Sanguinaria Canadensis.
Bloodroot; Nat. Ord. Papaveraceæ.

This is a native of North America, and is, therefore, hardy in this climate; tuberous rooted. It is a curious plant, not only from its great fulness of sap or juice, which is red (that of the root being darker, whence its name Bloodroot), but also because of the shape of its leaves, their colour, and method of development. Though very dwarf, it is handsome and distinct.

The flowers are pure white and nearly 2in. across; the petals have good substance, but they fall in five or six sunny days; the stamens are numerous and bright yellow. Though belonging to the order of the Poppy, it is in many respects unlike it; each flower stem, which is 6in. high, springs directly from the root, and only one flower is produced on a stem; the leaves are also radical, so that the plant is branchless and stemless; the leaf stalks are rather shorter than those of the flowers. The foliage is of a slate-grey colour, prominently veined on the under side, the upper surface being somewhat wrinkled; the leaves are 3in. across when fully developed, vine-leaf shaped, deeply and beautifully lobed; their development is slow, not being completed until the bloom is past. Both leaves and flowers are produced in a curious fashion; for a time the flower-bud is compactly enfolded by a leaf, and so both grow up to the height of 2in. or 3in., when the former pushes through, and soon swells its olive-shaped buds. At this stage a good specimen clump is very attractive, and is only more so when the fine blooms first open.

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Sanguinaria Canadensis

It should be grown amongst some such carpeting plants as Sibthorpia Europæa or Linaria pilosa, so as to protect it; moreover, these creepers are suited for a similar soil and position. The soil should be light, either of sandy or vegetable character, but one that cannot bake; shade from the midday sun is essential, as also is plenty of moisture. When the growths have become crowded, as they do in about three years, it is as well to lift, divide, and replant at a distance of 3in.; this is best done after the tops have died off in summer; plant 4in. or 5in. deep.

Flowering period, April and May.


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