Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bloodroot and Siberian Scilla

Spring just can’t be far off. Bloodroot and Siberian Scilla (Squill) are blooming along the edge of our backwoods. 

Scilla is “a classic case of gardening gone awry” (Minnesota Wildflowers). This pretty, early-blooming flower is introduced to the United States. It is cold-tolerant.  It spreads out of control. Local wildlife ignores it. The plant is hard to eradicate. Broken roots resprout. In other words, this plant, although sold in stores, is a noxious invasive species.

I hope our native Bloodroot withstand the scilla invasion. Bloodroot is also a harbinger of spring. Bloodroot gets its name from its red sap. The sap produces alkaloids that kill animal cells. Bloodroot, although disfiguring, has been unsuccessfully used as a home remedy for skin cancer (Wikipedia). Obviously eating Bloodroot is not recommended and is potentially fatal.

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