Monday, April 15, 2013

Native Plants - Bloodroot and Mayapple


“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” 
― John Muir

I had a busy weekend putting out plants and starting some new seeds.  I needed a  break so figured I would take a short walk down to where I planted a few natives this past year. 

I was surprised to see that my Bloodroot had made it.  I out it out last May and it was a week or two before I went back to check on it.  I noticed that a squirrel or some other critter had dug up the roots.   I had this problem with about a dozen plants I purchased from one particular nursery last year.  I started putting a couple of moth balls out with each new plant and that seemed to keep the critters at bay.  Bloodroot has a white flower when in bloom and a red dye can be obtained from the cut root.  This dye is still used by many Native Americans.   The plant is also toxic.  

Not far away I saw several Mayapples along the forest floor.  I dug some of these up last year in an attempt to start them on our property.  I was pleased to see about half a dozen of these in the general area.  I have noticed in the past that box turtles seem to be very fond of this plant.  Considering that box turtles tend to favor toxic plants, it is not surprise that the Mayapple can be toxic, especially at certain times of the year (which is probably why it got its other nickname... Devil's Apple).  

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