The New Student's Reference Work/Bloodroot
Bloodroot, a wild-flower belonging to the poppy family, of much beauty in the open but quickly perishing when plucked. It is sometimes called Indian Paint, also Red Puccoon. It gets its name from the orange-red juice that fills its thick root-stock. This juice, to be obtained from all parts of the plant and which stains the hands in picking, was highly valued by the Indian and the pioneer mother; the former borrowed it for his war paint, the latter dripped it on sugar and gave it as remedy in cases of colds. The Indians to-day use the juice to dye baskets, quills and moose hair, and use it, too, as a medicine. The white man also appreciates its medicinal properties. Bloodroot is widely distributed from Maine to Florida and west to Nebraska. The blossom grows on a naked stem, and there is a single, large round leaf, which encloses the bud, unfolds and grows with the flower. There are numerous stamens, offering much pollen to visiting insects. At night the blossom closes.