Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 1013 Spigelia marilandica

Common Names: Indian pink, woodland pinkroot, worm grass Family: Strychnaceae (Indian pink Family)
Image Gallery

Indian pink
Indian pink stands out as a star in gardens and throughout its native range across the southeastern United States.


Indian pink is a pretty little wildflower that deserves more attention from gardeners. Although it dies to the ground in winter, Indian pink comes back each spring, forming a clump that reaches 1-2 ft (30-60 cm) in height. It has 4-7 pairs of opposite leaves that are 2-6 in (5-15 cm) long and lacking petioles (leaf stems). The flowers are in upright clusters (cymes), each consisting of a 2 in (5 cm) long scarlet trumpet which opens at the end into a five-pointed star exposing its yellowish inside. A truly beautiful flower, and it blooms over a long spring and summer season.


Spigelia marilandica occurs rather uncommonly in rich, moist hardwood forests in the southeastern U.S. from South Carolina west to southern Indiana, and south to eastern Texas and northern Florida. It is usually found in calcareous woods or in hardwood slope forests.


Light: Indian pink thrives in sun or part shade. Moisture: Indian pink likes a moist, but not waterlogged, soil. Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 - 9. Propagation: The clumps can be divided. The seeds germinate readily.
Indian pink
Steve's patch of Indian pink produces bounties of beautiful blossoms beginning in early spring and continuing into summer.


Grow Indian pink in a shady woodland garden, along a path, or in beds with other small, nonaggressive flowers. It looks good with small ferns, triliums, violets, wild columbine, and other dainty woodland plants. It is a natural show stopper, and no one walks by it without commenting! Indian pink can be hard to find; check with native nurseries in your area.


The poison strychnine comes from members of the strychnos family, and extracts of Indian pink root were used medicinally by native Americans to rid the body of parasitic worms. Apparently it had some efficacy, and western doctors also used the drug. There are three other species of Spigelia in Florida, and they are all quite rare, with two of them listed as Endangered Species.

Steve Christman 3/10/06, 4/26/12

Master Plant List

Click here to find plants in our Encyclopedia using the Master Plant List grid. Use this widget to search, sort and filter Floridata's plant database to easily locate Plant Profile pages. Use the dropdown menus to filter the grid to display items matching the selected Plant Type and Feature tags.

Plant Type Tags

tree icon
shrub icon
perennial plant icon
aquatic plant icon
cactus and succulents icon
grass icon
vine icon

Feature Tags

Attracts Birds
Attracts butterflies
Attracts Hummingbirds
Edible Plants
Cutting and Arranging
for pots and containers
drought tolerant plants
grows in wet soils
ornamental fruits
fall color
foliage plants
easy to grow plants
fast growing

Site Search

Use Google to search all of the pages on Floridata including the Plant Profile pages

Spigelia species profiled on Floridata:

Spigelia marilandica

( Indian pink, woodland pinkroot, worm grass )

Copyright 2015 Floridata.com LLC