By William T. Hathaway

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Of all the fascinating plants that hikers may stumble across, the Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is most likely to be remembered. The ethereal beauty of its fragile petals is quite impressive…even to the most bullish of woodland hunters. Those who are familiar with the flower tend to look forward to the coming of spring when Bloodroot again decorates limited regions of the forest floor.

First-timers always seem impressed when they are shown the red “bloody” juice that flows from the exposed root. To the uninitiated, discovering this underground secret that accounts for the plant's name is a thrilling addition to one's knowledge of nature lore.

See also another photograph of the Bloodroot.