Friday, June 21, 2013

Beautiful Bloodroot Berries

Forgive the title, I gave in to the alliteration opportunity.  They really are not berries but seeds, as the pictures will show. 

 After the long winter we had here in Minnesota this year I enjoyed the Bloodroot when it bloomed, and I posted this picture on May 7th shortly after the last snowfall.

The Bloodroot flowers have now turned to seed pods, and the seed pods have started to open to show their fascinating inside.
 This picture shows the seed pod with backlighting, so the beries on their seedhead inside show through.

The seed pod here is a little less than two inches long, and is a yellowish-green color.

The pod splits along its long axis and opens to show the seeds inside, as can be seen below.
 Here are the seeds exposed with their "connections"  to the main seed stem.

It is the "connections" that caught my attention.  When I first saw them through the camera I thought they were little parasites or slugs or maggots of some kind. 

I watched closely for movement and then noticed that each seed has just one connection. and that it is a part of the plant.

But looking at the close up picture below shows that these do not look like any plant tissue I have seen before.
 This is the actual plant seed pod.  I didn't moisten it, spray it, open it, or change it in any way. 

To me each seed looks like a little apple, and the connection looks like a moist slug about to have supper.

The pod will curl open as it dries, and the "slug" connection will turn black, as the picture below shows.  the seed pod below was on another plant about a foot away from the one above.

The seeds dropped off with only a little bump, and each may become a new Bloodroot plant with flowers early next spring. 


  1. Super cool! Nicely done. Just found some bloodroot beginning to "unshroud" growing in our tiny drainage near our driveway. Have never seen it grow there before. Spent much effort removing Garlic Mustard and Buckthorn last year - maybe this is the payback.
    Cheer -

  2. "Retired Nature Center Director"...??? Siah, I should have figured it was you by the great images. "Former Nature Center Naturalist" Tim Boyle here. I always wondered what Retired Nature Center Directors did. Nice work. Or play, as the case may be. Carry on.

  3. Shah, I love your close ups. I am starting a painting of Bloodroot and missed taking pics of my plants in the seed pod opening stage; would you give me permission to use your photos for reference for my painting?