This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Spigelia Marilandica. Maryland Spigelia, or Worm-Grass.
Corolla infundibuliformis. Capsula didyma. 2-locularis, polysperma.
SPIGELIA Marilandica caule tetragono, foliis omnibus oppositis. Lin. Syst. Veg. p. 197. Mant. 2. p. 338.
LONICERA Marilandica, Spec. Pl. ed. 3. p. 249.
PERICLYMENI virginiani flore coccineo planta marilandica spicata erecta foliis conjugatis. D. Sherard Raii Suppl. p. 32. Catesb. Carol. 11. t. 78.
ANTHELMIA Indian pink. Dr. Lining. Essays Physical and Literary, Vol. 1. and Vol. 3.
This plant, not less celebrated for its superior efficacy in destroying worms[A], than admired for its beauty, is a native of the warmer parts of North America; the older Botanists, and even Linnaeus, at one time considered it as a honeysuckle, but he has now made a new genus of it, which he has named in honour of Spigelius, a Botanist of considerable note, author of the Ifagog. in yem herbar. published at Leyden in 1633.
"This plant is not easily propagated in England, for the roots make but slow increase, so that the plant is not very common in the English Gardens at present; for although it is so hardy as to endure the cold of our ordinary winters in the open air, yet as it does not ripen seeds, the only way of propagating it is by parting of the roots; and as these do not make much increase by offsets, so the plants are scarce; it delights in a moist soil, and must not be often transplanted." Miller's Dict.
The scarcity of this plant, even now, is a proof of the justness of Mr. Miller's observation; it is in fact a very shy plant, and scarcely to be kept in this country but by frequent importation.
It flowers in June and July.
[A] Vid. Lewis's Mater. Medica.