Double Bloodroot


Double Bloodroot

 Many years ago, I designed a display garden for the Plain Dirt Gardeners of Batavia for their entry into the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. at Navy Pier.     It featured a waterway representing the Fox River, native woodland plants (all grown in a greenhouse during the winter),  Indian artifacts, and, thanks to Chief Joseph Standing Bear, real Indians.  It won Best of Show and I still have the design displayed in my studio.  In gratitude, Ruth Johnson, who had conceived of the plan, gave me a few Double Bloodroot . (Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Multiplex’), which I never heard of before.  I still have them, although all my Bloodroot took a hit last year and I don’t have as many as I did.

double bloodroot 1 4/20/2008

It comes into bloom after the single-petaled species Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)  and flowers for a longer time.    It reproductive parts became petals; therefore, it does not produce any seed–it only increases by rhizomes.

 It was discovered  in 1916 by a Mr. Guido von Webem within a clump of Sanguinaria canadensis on his property in Dayton, Ohio.  In 1919, he divided the plant, sending divisions to the Arnold Arboretum and to a Mr. Henry Teuscher, Director of the Montreal Botanic Garden.  The original plant and the Arnold Arboretum plant both perished, but the Montreal specimen lived on, and it is from this plant from which all the current plants are descended.

double bloodroot 7

double bloodroot 24/4/2010  It appears here with the single Bloodroot and Dutchman’s Breeches.

double bloodroot 54/19/2015

Bloodroots  are a spring ephemeral, which means it blooms early in the spring before the trees leaf out; then disappears, flower and leaf, by summer;  then starts the cycle all over again the following spring,

This plant has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Have any of you seen this stunning plant anywhere?



6 Responses to Double Bloodroot

  1. Donna Czarnecki April 30, 2015 at 12:41 am #

    Yes, I have seen it. It’s in my woodland garden in the front of my home. It was given to me by Bob Jilek. Thanks to you,Pat, I have a wonderful story now to share with him about the origins of this beautiful and delicate ephemeral.

    • Pat Hill April 30, 2015 at 1:33 am #

      I’m so glad you have some. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jack Shouba April 30, 2015 at 6:06 am #

    Pat, it looks like your plants and mine are cousins. I was also given one by a member of Plain Dirt Gardeners. It did really well this year and I sent a photo to the friends that gave it to me. They said theirs had died, so I will be giving some back to them.

  3. Mary Alice Masonick April 30, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    Beautiful, Pat! Thanks for sharing this interesting story!

  4. Jason May 1, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    I have some single bloodroot that a friend sent me. I usually prefer single blooms but I see the advantages of this double bloodroot.

    • Pat Hill May 1, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

      The double flower Bloodroot is extremely rare–no one has figured out how to reproduce them in quantity. I’m with you–I usually prefer single blossoms in, say, roses or peonies.

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