This is the spring wildflower I always love to see because of the common name, Bloodroot. It just sounds so morbid. Indeed, if you break the tuberous root of this plant the sap is a bright blood red-orange color. The botanical name is Sanguinaria canadensis, which alludes to its blood-like qualities.The pure white flower has 8-12 petals around yellow anthers, often in a double row. When the flower first blooms in the spring, the leaves cannot be seen, but as the stem extends and bloom matures you can begin to see the leaves clasped around the stem. As the flower fades, the leaves completely unfurl and persist into summer. The leaves are rather fleshy, seem like they would be crisp if you broke them, and have a silvery, powdery appearance on the underside. Water beads up on the surface of the leaves, appearing like mercury.
The plant has been used medicinally throughout history, including recent use as an ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash. But ultimately all uses seem to be toxic in one way or another.