Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Native wildflower paper #2: Bloodroot

This picture is ©Daniel Reed - www.2bnthewild.com

The bloodroot is a wildflower that grows in wooded areas before the leaves grow out on the trees. It has one large leaf that wraps around the large single blossom. It opens its bloom to the full sunlight and closes up again at dark. The flower is made of numerous ray-like white petals surrounding many golden yellow stamens and a small green pistil.

According to the National Audubon Society’s field guide to wildflowers, Native Americans used its reddish sap as dye and as insect repellant.

According to Wikipedia, the Bloodroot is fertilized by small bees and flies, and partners with ants to spread its seeds. The ants will carry the seeds back to their nests, eat off the fleshy part of the seed called an elaiosome and then dump the seed into the colony’s trash heap, where it will germinate

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