The underground portion of each Bloodroot plant is actually a fleshy subterranean stem, called a rhizome. Bloodroot rhizomes grow outward, horizontally through the soft soil of the forest floor, eventually forming a substantial colony.
A carpet of flowers: Individual rhizomes are actually segmented by nodes, each of which can sprout a separate flower stalk. This results in a dense carpet of bloodroot flowers that emerge like magic among the decaying leaves of the forest floor.
On sunny days, the pristine white flowers open wide to receive the early-pollinating insects. But each night and on rainy days they close up tightly to protect their precious pollen.
After a few short weeks the trees of the forest leaf out, the ground becomes shaded, and the spring wildflowers begin to set seed.
Many woodland wildflowers are ephemeral, meaning that, after they have finished flowering and set seed, the entire plant becomes dormant and disappears below ground until the following spring.