Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hooray for bloodroot.

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis. Much loved.

My tiny, noble stand of bloodroot is on the verge of being engulfed by the loathsome goutweed. I had to rip away some of the latter to take this picture.

I hate goutweed.

Here is a fun fact about bloodroot, according to Wikipedia: "Bloodroot is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants, a process called myrmecochory. The seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes, and put the seeds in their nest debris, where they are protected until they germinate. They also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the ant nest debris."

I doubt goutweed could ever come up with anything remotely this clever.

8 comments:

Kim and Victoria said...

Ha ha! Goutweed! Never heard it called that before. We call it Bishop's Weed and actually like it in our shade garden.

Northern Shade said...

The previous owners left a patch of goutweed, and my biggest mistake was not taking a flamethrower to it right away. It sent runners underneath a sidewalk, and up on the other side, grrr. Through vindictive and ruthless pulling, I've mostly got it down to the odd leaf popping up here and there. It has left me with a distaste for any plant that shows a similar variegation.
The bloodroot is beautiful. Plus, it enters into the spirit of cooperation, unlike some plants we could name.

Hugh said...

K&V, Perhaps it is more containable in your zone. Here it starts growing while everything else is still asleep. It even takes over the lawn.

Northern Shade, Exactly! Plus, the stuff I have isn't even variegated!

And thank you for the picks!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Hugh .. I'm in love with Bloodroot .. especially the "Double" cultivar .. but the goutweed thing .. thankfully none was here when we moved in and I can't BELIEVE people actually buy that STUFF and put it in their gardens .. JEEZ !!!!

cedrorum said...

I must have stubbed my right big toe on some of that goutweed in teh past.

Marvin said...

Your bloodroot is beautiful. My sympathies for your goutweed.

Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms 'n roots said...

Cute little plants! I had no idea about the ants- fascinating!

Karen said...

Huh, never seen goutweed here, and from the sound of it I hope I never do! Bloodroot, thought... I feel like it's going to have to get on my plant list for next spring.