The Bloodroot is a low-growing plant that starts to bloom before the foliage unfolds in early spring. The flowers white petals are shed within a day or two of pollination, so the flower display is short-lived and its seeds are commonly distributed by ants, which eat a sweet membrane that covers the seed. Any break in the surface of the plant, especially the roots, reveals a reddish sap which native American basket makers used as dye. The red sap, although highly toxic, was also used by native Americans as an emetic and a respiratory aid. The extract from the bloodroot is used commercially today as antibacterial and anti-plaque agents in toothpaste. So, a pretty interesting plant that grows wild in our neck of the woods.