Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis
Bloodroot is a member of the Papaveraceae, or poppy family. It has medicinal properties, and a fascinating evolutionary relationship with harvester ants. Bloodroot seeds have a structure called an elaiosome that provides nutrition for the ants. The ants in turn disperse and germinate the seeds. Bloodroot is one of the first to flower in spring in southern Ontario, coming up through the leaf litter and providing food for early pollinators.