Sanguinaria canadensis L.
Family - Papaveraceae
Stems - Thick subterranean rhizome, branching, with blood red sap. Roots fibrous to slightly thickened.
Leaves - Leaves produced from each end of the rhizome. At anthesis the leaves are typically shorter than the pedicel of the flower. Petiole elongating to +/-17cm long, glabrous. Blades lobed or not, glaucous abaxially, dull green adaxially, glabrous, +12cm broad, 10cm long.
Leaf at anthesis.
Inflorescence - Single flower produced just before or with the new seasons leaf. Peduncle to +11cm long in flower, glabrous, expanding in fruit to +15cm long, typically exserted from between the cordate base of the leaf.
Flowers - Petals typically 8 (4 being slightly larger then the others), white, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, glabrous, entire, to 3cm long, -1cm broad. Stamens many. Filaments 5-10mm long. Anthers yellow, 2-2.5mm long. Style very short (1mm long). Stigma 2-lobed. Capsules to +3cm long, 1cm in diameter, glabrous, beaked, unilocular. Placentation parietal. Seeds keeled, 10-15 per capsule.
Flowering - March - April.
Habitat - Base of bluffs, ravines, rich or rocky woods, bottoms, limestone outcrops.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This is one the most popular and easily recognizable wildflowers in North America. It can be found throughout Missouri. The plant is most often seen in fruit rather than in flower because the striking flowers are very short lived. The fruits develop quickly after the flowers have wilted.
Photographs taken in Vale, NC., 3-15-03, in Umstead State Park, NC., 3-23-03, and at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, Boone County, MO., 3-20-04.