How "unique" is this new perennial?
The Living Garden: A Place that Works with Nature

Star of the spring garden

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We grow many American natives in our Pennsylvania garden, as well as some British ones. But one of the stars of them all – across the whole year - is the bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis. Thought to be the larval food plant for an unusual plant bug in this area (thought I'd mention that after recent controversies...), the pink form is perhaps the most lovely of them all. (Click the image above to see a larger version.)

From the moment the buds start to peep through it’s beautiful and intriguing. Then as the buds rise above the boldly veined new leaves (above left), which form a protective sheath as the buds push through the soil, they again repay close inspection. This was five days ago, on the 18th.

By the day before yesterday, 22nd, in cool and wet conditions, the buds had started to open (above center) and the weather was slowing their development so that we could enjoy this captivating stage in their development.

In a few days time, depending on the weather, the flowers will open completely (above right) White on the inside and pink on the outside, the flowers stay closed in dull conditions but flare open in the sun which highlights the pink veining. They may last a few days or perhaps two weeks – depending on the weather. They’re followed by very attractive leaves, more boldly divided than those of other forms (below, click to enlarge).

This is a real treasure, and increasing steadily. With the red flower stems of Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Princess Susan’ behind it makes a great combination. Both thrive in some shade and any reasonably good soil.

But there’s a problem. Hardly any nurseries list it. I got mine, along with that epimedium, from Darrell Probst’s Garden Vision a few years ago. It's expanded well. If anyone knows any other sources, especially in Britain, please post them in the comments below. It would be great to see this exceptional American woodland native more widely grown.

And take a look at my earlier post on other forms of bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis.

Sanguinaria,canadensis,bloodroot,buds,leaves,foliage,native,pink. Image: © (all rights reserved)