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Used by Native Americans for war paint, the intensely colored yellow sap that flows from this plant when cut gives the plant its name. Bloodroot's pure white cup-shaped flowers are fleeting but charming; double forms last a few days longer. The irregular gray green foliage makes an excellent groundcover through late summer when it dies back. Bloodroot is suitable for shaded rock gardens (especially the double form), wild garden and native plant gardens as well as in light deciduous woodlands where it colonizes in the wild. Provide well-drained humus-rich soil in shade.
Lily-of-the-valley blooms later in spring than bloodroot but their foliages combine well all summer under deciduous shade.Bleeding heart
Fringed bleeding heart has pink or white heart-shaped flowers a little later than bloodroot. Its ferny foliage contrasts well with the lobed kidney-shaped grayish leaves of bloodroot in light shade.Japanese painted fern
Japanese painted fern emerges after bloodroot has bloomed and its leaves have expanded. The difference in leaf shape, color, and form is appealing for several months.