Bloodroot is an herbaceous perennial that grows from a persistent, branched underground stem or rhizome. Early each spring, while the forest canopy is still bare, each well-developed rhizome tip produces one leaf and one flower stalk. The leaf is kidney-shaped in its overall outline, but it is also divided into a pattern of rounded lobes and sinuses, rendering a complex overall shape. At flowering time, bloodroot leaves form a loose vertically-oriented collar around the flower stalk with the bluish-green lower leaf surface forming the outside of the collar; as the season progresses, the leaves open flat and expand to their full size, which commonly ranges from six to eight inches across, and held about a foot above the ground, but leaves can become larger in favorable locations.

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Copyright © 2005 Virginia Native Plant Society. Virginia Native Plant Society Wildflowers of the Year (2005).

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