I have both the single and double bloodroot in the garden, and appreciate each. However the Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex, the double form, have an exquisite shape. In spring these give you dramatically beautiful blooms in the shade garden, with the white flowers showing up well in the shadowy areas. Although the flowers look exotic, they don’t mind a zone 3 winter.
Here the Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex (double bloodroot) are just emerging from the soil in spring. Each beautiful flower bud rises up with a leaf curled around it. On the right you see the initial appearance, and on the left the leaf is starting to part.
As the leaf uncurls more, the flowers rise up and unfold, so you begin to see hints of a the multitude of beautiful petals.
It seems that this perennial can be listed in different ways, and I sometimes see the double labelled as ‘Flore Pleno’. Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex is extra generous with the petals, the exquisite flowers resembling waterlilies. The pure white colour really stands out against the background in the shade. I have two of these double bloodroots, and this year they have bloomed a week before the single version. The double forms are supposed to last much longer than the singles. However, mine only lasted a little over a week, a brief but beautiful flowering. They are definitely worth finding space in your shady garden. I go out each day to admire the blooms, but the light colour can also be glimpsed from my windows.
Bloodroots are native to the woodlands of Eastern Canada, but these are doing fine in the Parkland of Alberta. I have these planted in a very shady area, between the trees. There is a lot of decomposing leaf matter in this garden bed. Although these perennials are supposed to be ephemeral with the leaves fading back after spring, mine keep the foliage all summer, and their unique shape looks good. Perhaps the cooler summers help sustain the plants.
The Sanguinaria leaves are very decorative for a perennial that might hide away for the summer in some areas. The large flat leaves are deeply lobed and stiff, so they make a nice green foil for other plants in the garden. The bloodroot leaf above is looking shiny in the rain. The plants are about 18 cm (7 in) tall, with the flowers about 23 cm (9 in) in height.
Here are more pictures of Sanguinaria canadensis (single flowered bloodroot). I’ve now paired the Sanguinaria with some pretty blue Chionodoxa forbesii.
Even if you don’t have a woodland, the double bloodroot will do well under the shade of a tree, to bring a little part of the Eastern forest to your garden.