This is one the most popular and easily recognizable wildflowers in North America. This plant is most often seen in fruit rather than in flower because the striking flowers are very short lived. The fruits develop quickly after the flowers have wilted.The rhizome of this species bleeds a red sap when injured, hence the common name of the plant, “Bloodroot.” Licking the root causes an instant burning sensation on the tounge and lips. Some people have experienced tunnel vision from licking the root a bit too much! The species contains the alkaloid sanguinarine which has shown antiseptic, anticancer, and anesthetic properties. It is used in mouthwash and toothpaste as an plaque inhibitor.