Northern Shade Gardening

Sanguinaria Canadensis f Multiplex Double Bloodroot

Thursday, May 26, 2011 Category: Perennials
Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex double bloodroot in May

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex double bloodroot in May

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.

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex double bloodroot first buds poke from leaves

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex double bloodroot first buds poke from leaves

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.

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex double bloodroot buds emerging above curled leaves

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex double bloodroot buds emerging above curled leaves

As the leaf uncurls more, the flowers rise up and unfold, so you begin to see hints of a the multitude of beautiful petals.

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex double bloodroot white flowers

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex double bloodroot white flowers

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.

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex 3 double bloodroot white flowers

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex 3 double bloodroot white flowers

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.

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex leaf closeup

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex leaf closeup

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.

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex closeup of double bloom

Sanguinaria canadensis f. multiplex closeup of double bloom

21 Responses to “Sanguinaria Canadensis f Multiplex Double Bloodroot” »

  1. Rebecca @ In The Garden :
    May 26, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Those are incredibly beautiful, I will try to find some for my shade garden. I love they way the flower bud is visible just above the still furled leaf.

  2. Northern Shade :
    May 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Rebecca, the blooms are gorgeous, and they flower so quickly after they first appear. I have some other perennials in front of them, to flower later on, too.

  3. The Garden Ms. S :
    May 26, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Such a distinctive and pretty plant. I absolutely love the way the leaves wrap around the buds – so sweet and protective.

  4. Northern Shade :
    May 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    The Garden Ms. S, it is fascinating the way the leaf and bud rise up and unroll. These are another perennial that just don’t look like they would survive our winters, but do just fine.

    Irena, the double flowers are outstanding in appearance, with the layers around, and the slight up curve to the petal tips.

  5. irena :
    May 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Must get the doubles. All the photos are lovely but the last one is outstanding.

  6. Marit :
    May 27, 2011 at 12:08 am

    The both of them is nice, but I like the double form best. It is one of my favorite plants in spring.

  7. Northern Shade :
    May 27, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Marit, the shape and arrangement of the double form definitely makes them stand out. I have some Brunnera, with airy blue flowers neat them, and like the combination.

  8. easygardener :
    May 29, 2011 at 8:46 am

    They are beautiful plants – I too have both but prefer the double which also seems to last longer.
    I had a look at the Royal Horticultural Plant Finder (a plant bible for names!) and they have two different doubles listed – f. multiplex and f. multiplex ‘Plena’.
    f. apparently means (botanical form). Heaven knows what the actual difference is…..if any, unless the plant is under a microscope.

  9. Northern Shade :
    May 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Easygardener, perhaps the wind and rain got my flowers, as the doubles didn’t last much longer than the single form, although they are supposed to, since they aren’t fertile. I think the f. multiplex might be the correct wording, but sometimes I see them listed on tags as flore pleno around here, but I think that is just a generic reference to lots of petals. I do enjoy the wonderful presence that the extra petals give to the flowers.

  10. Shady Gardener :
    June 2, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Northern, Is the double bloodroot a cultivar? This is really pretty – I’ll have to look for some! :-)

  11. Northern Shade :
    June 3, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Shady Gardener, it gets named in different ways, but the the fully double form is supposed to be f. multiplex, and the semi double is supposed to be ‘Flore Pleno’ or ‘Plena’. The double is sterile, because what used to be the reproductive parts are petals now, so the flowers should last longer that the single flowers. They are very hardy and pretty.

  12. Augusto Fernando :
    August 15, 2012 at 9:33 am

    where can I buy the seeds for this plant and what are the growing conditions re type of soil, sun exposure,fertilization,etc.

  13. Northern Shade :
    August 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Augusto Fernando, the double bloodroot is sterile, so it won’t get any seeds. That is why the petals last longer on these flowers, compared to the regular bloodroot. They grow best in woodland type conditions. Mine are growing under some trees, and I leave the leaf litter on for them to enrich the soil. They grow well in part shade.

  14. Bellan :
    September 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Je voudrai acheter des plants de sanguinaria canadensis ! Ou en trouver sur le net?

  15. Northern Shade :
    September 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm



  16. Isha :
    March 28, 2015 at 10:34 am


    I am looking for bloodroot plants. Where can I buy them in Edmonton area?

  17. Northern Shade :
    March 28, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Isha, I bought my double bloodroot at Greenland Garden Centre, just north of Sherwood Park.

  18. Maureen :
    April 6, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Beautiful, Will they grow on the Canadian Sheild, east on Winnipeg?

  19. Northern Shade :
    April 6, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Maureen, they should do well, since they grow wild in Ontario. I’ve been pleased with how well they’ve adapted to the colder and dryer Edmonton climate.

  20. Robert :
    April 13, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Previous to this year I had Sanquinaria coming up wild in a shaded garden area which borders a woodland. This was probably a result of self seeding. I fertilized this garden area last fall and put down Preen weed preventive at the same time. This spring the Blood Root did not reemerge in the garden as I expected it to. I scratched around a little but the Rhizomes are nowhere to be found. Is this the fault of the Preen. Is Sanquinaria intolerantof Preen? Thanks.

  21. Northern Shade :
    April 13, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Robert, I haven’t used Preen, but is is supposed to work on seeds, not established plants. Although the new seeds would not have germinated, theoretically the rhizomes should have been ok. With luck you may have some still left to restart the colony.

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