Sanquinaria canadensis Linnaeus
Papaveraceae (Poppy) Family
Plant is an upright perennial with a rhizomes from which new growth emerges. Its preferred habitat is rich woods and moist slopes. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region except directly at seashore.
The leaves are basal, consisting of a whole part, stalked; usually only one per flower stalk; kidney-shaped, with margins lobed or parted and base auriculate (eared).
The flowers are solitary on the stem; bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form, resting atop long stalks; 2 sepals, numerous white petals and stamens.
Flowers occur in the spring at higher elevations but on the Coastal Plain can be expected till early summer. The fragile flower develops and rises from the center of its curled leaf; opening in full sun and closing at night.
Fruit is a capsule.
The generic name means to bleed and its adjective means to have a hollow stem. Red juice from its underground stem was used by Indians as a dye for blankets, baskets, clothing and war paint. However, its most redeeming value is as an insect repellent. When in deep woods and flying insects become a problem look for the plant, crush the leaf and rub it along the neck, face and arms -- it works miracles.