A Bloody Secret

After a short and mild winter and an unusually warm beginning of spring it is no surprise that some of Montour Preserves woodland wildflowers are showing up early this year. One great example of this early bloom is bloodroot which is in full bloom at the preserve. Bloodroot can be recognized by its large white flowers and leaf which wraps itself around the stem in early spring. This showy spring blossom is aptly named for the orangish red sap that flows from the root and stem of the plant which has been used in a variety of ways in the past. Native Americans used bloodroot sap both medicinally and practically for a dye for face painting and clothing, and as a cough medicine. In the early 1980’s bloodroot extract called Sanguinaria, became somewhat famous as a first line of defense against gum disease and some prominent members of the dental community believed this extract to be as influential in plague fighting as fluoride had been to tooth decay. Don’t miss out on the wonders of early spring; remember our woodland wildflower walk is scheduled for Saturday April 28th from 1:30-3:00p.m.

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