Pinkroot. Spigelia marilandica L.

Figure 83.—Pinkroot (Spigelia marilandica)

Other Common Names

Carolina pinkroot, Carolina pink, Maryland pink, Indian pink, starbloom, worm grass, wormweed, American wormroot.

Habitat And Range

This plant is found in rich woods from New Jersey to Florida and west to Texas and Wisconsin, but occurs principally in the Southern States. It is fast disappearing, however, from its native haunts.

Description

Pinkroot is an herb with a simple erect stem from 6 inches to 1 1/2 feet high. The pointed leaves are stemless, from 2 to 4 inches long, and one-half to 2 inches wide. The rather showy flowers are produced from May to July in a 1-sided terminal spike. They are tube-shaped, narrowed below, and slightly contracted toward the top, where they terminate in five lanceshaped lobes. The outside and inside of the tube are bright scarlet and the lobes yellow.

The roots of other plants, especially that of the East Tennessee pinkroot (Ruellia caroliniensis (Walt,) Steud., syn. R. ciliosa Pursh), are often found mixed with the true pinkroot. The rootstock of this plant is larger and not as dark as that of Spigelia marilandica, and it has fewer and coarser roots

Part Used

The rootstock, collected after the flowering period.