Sanguinaria canadensis - L.
Bloodroot
Other Common Names: bloodroot
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Sanguinaria canadensis L. (TSN 18990)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.152149
Element Code: PDPAP0M010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Poppy Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Papaverales Papaveraceae Sanguinaria
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Sanguinaria canadensis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 13May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 06Sep1984
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species has a very broad range and is a frequent component of mesic hardwood forests in across the eastern US and southeastern Canada. It is likely declining locally through much of its range due to the combination of habitat conversion and collection from wild populations. At present, this species is demonstrably secure given its extremely broad distribution and the sheer number of populations.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (17Nov2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNR), Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (S4), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S4), Kansas (SNR), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S2), Maine (SNR), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNR), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (S3S5), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (S4S5), New York (S4), North Carolina (S5), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (SNR), Pennsylvania (SNR), Rhode Island (S2), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (S4?), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (S1S2), Vermont (SNR), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (SNR)
Canada Manitoba (S2), New Brunswick (S4), Nova Scotia (S3S4), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S4)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Eastern North America, from southern Quebec (Labrecque pers. comm.), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia west to southeast Manitoba (Punter pers. comm.), northeast Nebraska (Steinauer pers. comm.); disjunct to the Black Hills, South Dakota (Ode pers. comm.); south to Texas, Louisiana, Florida (USDA-NRCS 1999).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are probably tens or hundreds of thousands of populations rangewide. Iowa: hundreds; Indiana: thousands; Kansas: 30; Maryland: hundreds; North Carolina: thousands; Nebraska: 25-50+; Rhode Island: 10; South Carolina: hundreds; South Dakota: 40 to 50; Tennessee: several hundred; Vermont: thousands; Manitoba: >8; Quebec: >100 (Brumback and Mehrhoff 1996, APSU 1999).

Since this is such a common species throughout much of its range, these numbers can only be estimates. Additional information on species distribution and the number of populations can be gleaned from county occurrence dot maps (USDA-NRCS 1999).

Population Size Comments: There are typically dozens to hundreds or thousands of individual plants per population (Kauffman pers. comm., Schafale pers. comm., Ode pers. comm., Enser pers. comm., Labrecque pers. comm.).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: There is reliable evidence that collecting from wild populations is occurring for the plant trade in Great Smoky Mountains N.P., southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee (Rock pers. comm., Kauffman pers. comm.); central Tennessee; Hoosier National Forest and elsewhere in Indiana (Jacquart pers. comm., Homoya pers. comm.). Collecting for the plant trade is suspected in New England (Brumback pers. comm.).

Collection of this species has been observed simultaneously with American ginseng (Rock pers. comm., Corbin pers. comm.). Collection of this species was first observed by Corbin about 4 years ago, and is now much more widespread. Apparently, this species is being actively sought on the Chinese and Korean black market, where it may get prices between $15-30 per pound (dry weight; Corbin pers. comm.). This was the third most-collected species (after ginseng and goldenseal) in Hoosier National Forest prior to the cessation of herb collection permitting there recently (Jacquart pers. comm.). There are consistently low prices for this species and a relatively small but stable market for this species, including toothpaste companies (Blakley pers. comm., Suggs pers. comm.). Wildcrafters and tradesmen are very quiet and proprietary about how much is collected and where (Suggs pers. comm., Penskar pers. comm., Corbin pers. comm.), so information on amounts is very difficult to come by. Most or all material on the market is from wildcrafted sources (Blakley pers. comm., Fletcher pers. comm.). There are reports that migrant workers are now being employed for wildcrafting, resulting in much more thorough collection from populations of other species (Corbin pers. comm.). Small and Catling (1999) claim that most plant material of this species comes from wild areas in the United States. In Tennessee, this plant is collected from the wild and sold as nursery stock in bundles of 50 (Warren Co. Nursery).

According to Kauffman (pers. comm.), collection permits for Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests in North Carolina were for the following amounts (dry weight): 1997 - 5400 lbs.; 1998 - 4500 lbs.; 1999 - 5000 lbs. These amounts may not have been met by actual collections.

Total trade of this species has consistently been estimated at a few thousand pounds (dry weight) per year for the past few years (Blakley pers. comm.). However, a large dealer in herbs based in the southern Appalachians, sold 40,000-55,000 lbs. (dry) in 1999 (Fletcher pers. comm.).

This species appears to have very stable wholesale prices compared to other wildcrafted medicinal herbs such as Cimicifuga and Podophyllum. As such, it probably will continue to experience steady or increased harvesting every year until the cost of cultivated sources drops compared with wild sources (Kauffman pers. comm.).

A person knowledgable about the herbal medicinal trade says that the plant is traded to a fairly significant degree and estimates that 5,000-10,000 pounds of dry root is in U.S. trade each year (M. McGuffin pers. comm.). The root is used so harvest is deadly to the plant.

The plant is apparently an ingredient in the toothpaste Viadent (McGuffin pers. comm.).

As with all native forest herbs, habitat conversion and urban/rural development are significant direct threats (Homoya pers. comm., Enser pers. comm., Kunsman pers. comm., Pearson pers. comm., Punter pers. comm., Steinauer pers. comm.). Equally significant threats include habitat fragmentation and displacement by exotic species (Schafale pers. comm., Homoya pers. comm., Penskar pers. comm., Frye pers. comm., Enser pers. comm., Steinauer pers. comm.). Cattle grazing and surface mining are threats in portions of its range (Ode pers. comm., Punter pers. comm., Steinauer pers. comm.). Introduction of non-native genotypes from other regions in attempt to cultivate this species may be of some concern (Brumback pers. comm.). Feral hogs tend to uproot this species, and therefore may be an additional non-native threat in portions of its range (Schotz pers. comm.).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: The species is speculated to be declining globally. It is probably stable in parts of its range, though it is likely declining locally through much of its range due to the combination of habitat conversion and collection from wild populations. This species appears to have very stable wholesale prices compared to other wildcrafted medicinal herbs such as Cimicifuga and Podophyllum. As such, it probably will continue to experience steady or increased harvesting every year until the cost of cultivated sources drops compared with wild sources (Kauffman pers. comm.).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Eastern North America, from southern Quebec (Labrecque pers. comm.), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia west to southeast Manitoba (Punter pers. comm.), northeast Nebraska (Steinauer pers. comm.); disjunct to the Black Hills, South Dakota (Ode pers. comm.); south to Texas, Louisiana, Florida (USDA-NRCS 1999).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada MB, NB, NS, ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
LA Bienville (22013), Bossier (22015), Caddo (22017), Claiborne (22027), Lincoln (22061), Union (22111), Vernon (22115)
NE Burt (31021), Cass (31025), Cedar (31027)*, Dixon (31051)*, Douglas (31055), Sarpy (31153), Thurston (31173), Washington (31177)
RI Kent (44003)*, Providence (44007), Washington (44009)*
SD Lawrence (46081), Meade (46093)
TX Sabine (48403), San Augustine (48405), Shelby (48419)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Blackstone (01090003)+, Narragansett (01090004)+, Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005)+*
08 Bayou D'arbonne (08040206)+
10 Middle Cheyenne-Elk (10120111)+, Lower Belle Fourche (10120202)+, Redwater (10120203)+, Lewis and Clark Lake (10170101)+*, Blackbird-Soldier (10230001)+, Big Papillion-Mosquito (10230006)+, Keg-Weeping Water (10240001)+
11 Mckinney-Posten Bayous (11140201)+, Black Lake Bayou (11140209)+, Cross Bayou (11140304)+
12 Toledo Bend Reservoir (12010004)+, Lower Sabine (12010005)+, Lower Angelina (12020005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A spring ephemeral, usually one of the first woodland herbs to bloom. It has a single, deeply-lobed simple leaf, and a flowering culm to approximately 20 cm tall. Flowers are white in color. Stems and rhizomes exude a bright red fluid when broken.
Ecology Comments: This species is ant dispersed (Ode pers. comm.).
Habitat Comments: Rich, mesic to somewhat dry deciduous forests and coves with fertile soils and circumneutral to basic soil pH (Rock pers. comm., Enser pers. comm., Punter pers. comm., Schafale pers. comm.). In portions of its range, this species is often encountered with sugar maple (Labrecque pers. comm.). Occasionally, this species occurs in well-drained soils along ridge tops, from aspen/poplar woodlands in northwest portion of range to montane oak-hickory forests, high-elevation red oak forests and northern hardwoods in the southern Blue Ridge (Punter pers. comm., Schafale pers. comm., Penskar pers. comm.). In the Black Hills of South Dakota, this species occurs with Betula occidentalis, Picea glauca, Pinus ponderosa (Ode pers. comm.).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Commercial Importance: Minor cash crop
Economic Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG, LANDSCAPING, OTHER USES/PRODUCTS
Production Method: Cultivated, Wild-harvested
Economic Comments: Prices for this species were found as follows:

Southeast U.S., black market (Corbin pers. comm.): $15-30/lb (dry)

Central Tennessee, nursery: $0.40/bare root whole plant (wild-collected and sold in bundles of 50)

Nationwide, internet: $9/fluid oz. (1:10 ratio)

Nationwide, internet: $9/fluid oz. (1:4 ratio)

Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Jan2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: John R. Boetsch (1/00); rev. Eric Nielsen (1/00)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • APSU Center for Field Biology and University of Tennessee Herbarium. 1999. October 6-last update. Atlas of Tennessee Vascular Plants. Online. Available: http://www.bio.utk.edu/botany/herbarium/vascular/atlas.html. Accessed 2000-Jan.

  • Brumback, W.E., and L.J. Mehrhoff. 1996. Flora Conservanda: New England. The New England Plant Conservation Program list of plants in need of conservation. Rhodora 98 (895): 235-361.

  • Davis, J.M., and R.E. Bir. 1998. Medicinal plants with a potential niche market for propagators. Online. Available at: http://fletcher.ces.state.nc.us/staff/jmdavis/medicinal.html . Accessed 2000-Jan.

  • Herbarium, Department of Botany, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

  • Herbarium, Museum of Man and Nature, 190 Rupert Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Marshall, H.H. 1989. Pembina Hills Flora. Morden and District Museum Inc., Morden MB.

  • Moye, William S. 2006. Highly Ranked Plants of the South Mountain Region. Unpublished notes sent via email to Misty Franklin in February 2006.

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978. The Flora of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museum of Canada, Publ. in Botany 7(4).

  • Small, E., and P.M. Catling. 1999. Canadian medicinal crops. NRC Research Press, Ottawa, Ontario. 240 pp.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1999. November 3-last update. The PLANTS database. Online. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/plants. Accessed 2000-Jan.

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