Family:
Papaveraceae
Scientific Name:
Sanguinaria canadensis
Toxins:
isoquinoline alkaloids
Flower Color:
Found:
woodlands

Geographical Distribution

Bloodroot distribution - United States

Bloodroot

Sanguinaria canadensis

Red Puccoon
4/ 10
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is a stemless perennial herb which grows throughout the mid to eastern states of the United States east of the Mississippi and from southern Canada to the northern half of Louisiana and Georgia. It produces white to pink flowers with 8-12 oblong petals from March to May. The roots contain a reddish-orange sap.

All parts of the bloodroot plant are poisonous, but the roots contain the highest concentrations. The toxins in the plant are isoquinoline alkaloids, and are similar to those derived from the opium poppy. Specific chemicals include sanguinarine, chelerythrine, protopine, and homochelidonine.

The red-colored latex from this plant contains several alkaloids similar to those found in the Opium Poppy, and include sanguinarine, chelerythrine, protopine, and homochelidonine, as well as resins.

Symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing
  • altered mental state