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Sanguinaria Is A Shade-Loving Perennial

, Admin

While perennials are universally favored by large plants, capable of decorating the garden for many years in lush curtains, blooming relentlessly and continuously, creating the basis of compositions, there are plants with a special status in the class of perennial garden crops. The sanguinaria, a modest, diminutive beauty that blooms for only a few weeks and plays only an accent role, never tires of capturing the hearts of gardeners. It is one of the most exclusive garden perennials. It is inimitably beautiful and knows no equal as an accent for shaded areas.

Sanguinaria is a shade-loving perennial
Sanguinaria canadensis. © Eric Hunt

Inimitable Radiance of Sanguinariums

The beauty of the sanguinarium can be compared to only one plant: the lily lilies. The inflorescences of this perennial do resemble water nymphs, from afar it even seems as if the pond queens suddenly "accidentally" settled on the main garden flower beds. But the similarity is limited to the shape of the flowers. After all, sanguinaria are plants quite different in character, hardy, unpretentious and far from moisture-loving.

In the genus sanguinaria a single plant, whose name directly indicates the origin of the culture. Sanguinaria canadensis (Sanguinaria Canadensis) is really only found in nature in North America. Its name "blood-root" refers to the reddish-orange sap of the plant, which is excreted by Sanguinaria whenever it is injured (the Indians used to paint their faces with it).

The rhizome of Sanguinaria is horizontal, powerful, branched like a spruce bough, it is 2 cm thick. In spite of the fact that the lifetime of internodes is limited to 3-4 years, constant setting up of buds on young branches allows the sanguinarium to renew itself. The rhizomes grow quickly, creeping "in layers" over each other and forming a complex network of underground roots. The plant's buds often come to the surface, and the young shoots are pulled into the ground. And so unusual in its growth form, sanguinaria is also colored in intense red, and when digging the plant it is easy to understand why it was given such a "bloody" name.

The sanguinaria will not exceed 15 cm in height, but this does not prevent it from creating attractive, ever-expanding bushes. The plant develops quickly, constantly expanding, as if creating glades of fairy visions. The leaves of the sanguinaria are very beautiful. They on the plant are not immediately noticeable: they during the flowering period and until its end are wrapped around the flower stalks, making the bushes seem unusual, outlandish. It's only a few weeks later that the leaves gradually open up and show their full luster. Reaching a length of 30 cm, leaves sanguinaria stand out and heart-shaped, and relief veins on the underside, and a dense texture, and beautiful denticles on the edge. However this plant does have one serious disadvantage - at the end of summer or in sunny weather at the beginning of autumn the leaves get lazy and wilt and sanguinaria leaves the garden stage, leaving sparsely spaced leaves. © Jonathan Landsman

Each bud of Sanguinaria produces one flower stalk and only one, initially wrapped leaf around the flower stalk. Sanguinaria flowers are limited to 5 cm in diameter. But they are so beautiful that they seem like competitors to peonies. Among the sanguinaria, there are both non-majestic and majestic forms, and the latter are not selectively bred, but are a completely spontaneous, natural mutation. The simple flowers are similar to daisies, flat in shape, with beautiful oval petals in an elegant corolla around a yellow corolla of lingual flowers.

The small sanguinarium has semi-spherical flowers with oval petals, forming a beautiful flower up to 7-8 cm in diameter in ornamental forms 'Multiplex' and 'Flora Pleno'. In these sanguinariums, the inflorescences are really similar in shape to the lush flowers of garden peonies or lilies. The main feature of the plant that makes it so invaluable is its snow-white, nacreous-shining color, which in the shade seems especially bright, glowing from within.

The sanguinaria really only blooms for 2-3 weeks. Yet they decorate gardens so inimitably bright that even a short bloom is enough for a powerful effect. The abundant, extremely decorative, flowering of this little thing is hard to outshine. It starts immediately after the snow melts, as soon as the soil is slightly overheated. The specific period of flowering depends on the weather, as well as its duration: in cold spring the sanguinaria blooms and up to a month, in warm and sunny - and is limited to 2 weeks at all.

In ornamental horticulture, sanguinaria is used as:

  • a festive, exclusive accent in the design of the most advantageous compositions, the so-called "parade" ensembles (including in the front garden);
  • underlining, illuminating partner for the most beautiful ornamental trees and shrubs;
  • luminous spots in shady corners of the garden;
  • delightful, ornate spring accents;
  • in places to admire the metamorphosis of the plant;
  • in landscape-style compositions as a season-opening spring perennial.

The best partners for sanguinaria are crops that can cover summer fading leaves and hide cavities (ferns, for example), as well as all spring perennials from scillas and muscari, tulips and early flowering narcissi to chionodocus

Sanguinaria is a shade-loving perennial
Sanguinaria canadensis, or blood root. © mbgarchives

Conditions for sanguinaria

Sanguinaria is known primarily as a shade-loving plant. But it would be more accurate to call this baby a universal perennial, plastic, capable of adapting to completely different lighting conditions. Sanguinaria grows equally well in the shade, even under dense trees, and in bright sun. No matter where on the site you place this plant, from the lack or excess of light it will not suffer, quickly adapt and show their remarkable talents. So when choosing a place to place sanguinaria by the parameter of light you can safely be guided by purely decorative effects. And the desired ease of care: the better the light, the greater the need for watering. Sanguinaria do well only on loose, quality garden soil with high rates of air and water permeability. The reaction of the soil should be neutral or acidic. Compacted, neglected soils sanguinaria does not tolerate. Categorically prohibited to plant crumbs in damp areas, in soil with the slightest risk of excessive moisture.

Planting sanguinaria

Sanguinaria, if you bought or yourself separated a section of the rhizome, should be planted to a depth of 7 cm, placing the seedling is not superficial. Particular attention should be paid to the horizontal location of the root, in which the peripheral roots should be directed strictly downward. The seedlings are planted without disturbing the depth of growth and with full preservation of the earth clod. The recommended distance for planting sanguinaria is about 20-30 cm. Immediately after planting, the sanguinaria should be watered abundantly.

Sanguinaria is a shade-loving perennial
The sanguinaria rootstock. © Bruno Bergeron

Sangwinaria care

This plant can become the most unpretentious perennial on the plot, because when growing in the shade and semi-shade Sangwinaria needs absolutely no care except for one single feeding, obligatory for all beautiful flowering perennials. In the sun, sanguinaria will need more attention: bright light must be compensated by watering, preferably regular, not allowing the soil to overheat and not allow prolonged drought.
Feeding for this plant in all conditions need only one - in early spring. For sanguinaria in the beginning of the season make full mineral fertilizers.

Even the preparation for wintering for sanguinaria requires absolutely no measures: this plant is frost-resistant, in regions with harsh winters perfectly survives even in the most unstable seasons without any shelter (including mulching).

Pest and disease control

Astonishing endurance of sanguinaria is also fully demonstrated in its complete resistance. This plant in a garden culture is not affected by diseases and pests, it is virtually invulnerable. Of course, except for the risk of rotting when planting in damp soil and stagnant overwatering.

Methods of propagation Sanguinaria

Separation of pieces of rhizome

It can be done in August and September, as soon as the leaves on the beauty. It is not necessary to divide the sanguinarium into large divisions: it is enough to separate pieces of rhizome with at least 1 bud in each. Very carefully make sure that the roots on the bottom of the rhizome are not torn off, are not injured. The seedling should be taken as a plant in its own right, placed according to the general rules horizontally at a depth of about 7 cm with a standard sanguinaria distance of 25 cm between the bushes. © Seig


Sanguinaria when using this method will only be able to flower in the 3rd-4th year, and germination requires a preliminary stratification for 3 months. If it does not scare you - safely plant the seeds seasoned in the refrigerator in seedlings, using a light, loose substrate and germinating them in the light and warm under a film or glass. Sowing is carried out rarely, in large containers, plants are piked as early as possible (the earth clod cannot be further destroyed, so it is advisable to use peat pots). For young sanguinariums, it is important not to allow overwatering or complete drought, growing seedlings until early summer. In June you can move it to a permanent place.

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