May is the optimal time to engage in a wildflower hike. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensi), a flower with 8-10 white petals, can be found in the lower valleys of Wolf Ridge. The name bloodroot comes from red juice that emerges from a broken stem. This juice is poisonous, but can be used as a natural dye. Extracts from the plant are also used in alternative medicines.
One morning, we noticed a peculiar bloodroot on the side of the road; this particular plant had translucent petals instead of white. There are few suggestions as to why pigment could be lacking for bloodroot, and it is not a common occurrence. On your next wildflower hike, keep your eyes peeled for bloodroot and other spring flora!
By Emma Rohleder & Maria Keeler