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Port Washington Garden Club


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This month in the garden...

 

"The best way to make sure you're removing a weed and not a valuable plant? If it comes out of the ground easily it's a valuable plant."

Anonymous

 

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This Month in the Garden (April 2010)...

The white blossoms of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) are among the wildflowers that grace Port Washington in April. The plants grow in the shade of deciduous woods, frequently on slopes near natural water courses and are native throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada.

Bloodroot blooms before the its leaves unfurl so the blossoms are easy to spot among the leaf litter. Small bees and flies fertilize the flowers and ants help to disperse the seed. Like many other spring bloomers the plants usually go dormant and disappear by mid-summer.

The plant's common name, Bloodroot, comes from its fleshy rhizomes (underground storage stems) which ooze orange-red sap when cut. Native Americans used this sap to produce a color-fast dye they used on both their skin and fabric. Unfortunately, the raw sap can cause severe tissue damage and it's extremely toxic if ingested, even in small amounts.

Bloodroot flowers and leaves, like many other wildflowers, are favorites of deer. The growing numbers of deer and with the spread of European earthworms which consume the leaf duff needed for the germination of many native plant seeds is reducing these plants in the wild.

To see more wildflowers in Port Washington gardens click here.


This Month in the Garden Archive:

November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July
2010
June 2010
May
2010

April 2010
March 2010
February 2010

January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April
2009

March 2009

 

Port Washington Garden Club, PO Box 492, Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
Registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization