Spigelia Species, Indian Pink, Woodland Pinkroot

Spigelia marilandica

Family: Loganiaceae
Genus: Spigelia (spy-GEEL-ee-ah) (Info)
Species: marilandica (mar-i-LAND-ih-ka) (Info)
Synonym:Spigelia lonicera
Synonym:Spigelia quadrifolia
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama

Millbrook, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama

Pelham, Alabama

Seale, Alabama

Union Grove, Alabama

Heber Springs, Arkansas

Morrilton, Arkansas

Wilmington, Delaware

Gainesville, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Perry, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida(2 reports)

Valparaiso, Florida

Cornelia, Georgia

Forsyth, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Lake Zurich, Illinois

Oak Lawn, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois(2 reports)

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Benton, Kentucky

Berea, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky(2 reports)

Symsonia, Kentucky

Bordelonville, Louisiana

Covington, Louisiana

Haughton, Louisiana

Holden, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mandeville, Louisiana

Pineville, Louisiana

Baltimore, Maryland

Hughesville, Maryland

Newtonville, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Royal Oak, Michigan

Collins, Mississippi

Mccomb, Mississippi

Olive Branch, Mississippi

Pontotoc, Mississippi

Raymond, Mississippi

Ballwin, Missouri

Cross Timbers, Missouri

Elsberry, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Hudson, New Hampshire

Cape May, New Jersey

Clarksburg, New Jersey

Jamesburg, New Jersey

Middletown, New Jersey

New Milford, New Jersey

Whiting, New Jersey

Averill Park, New York

Brooklyn, New York

Buffalo, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Schenectady, New York

Webster, New York

Durham, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Coshocton, Ohio

Franklin, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Perkins, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

Maytown, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Ottsville, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

Charleston, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Burns, Tennessee

Germantown, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Baytown, Texas

Belton, Texas

Corrigan, Texas

Floresville, Texas

Garland, Texas

Houston, Texas

Iredell, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

San Augustine, Texas

Quechee, Vermont

Alexandria, Virginia

Arlington, Virginia

Exmore, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Linville, Virginia

Mc Lean, Virginia

Portsmouth, Virginia

Vienna, Virginia

Woodbridge, Virginia

Auburn, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 19, 2021, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

They're now blooming nicely in my zone 7b shade garden. Love the striking red and yellow flowers!


On Jul 7, 2017, SubTropMigrant from Quechee, VT wrote:

I brought an Indian Pink up from From the Guld Coast to plant in my Hartford VT hummingbird garden, figuring it would be an annual. I consider my area to be Zone 4b, though some local nurseries say we're Zone 5. I planted it in a somewhat sunny spot in my courtyard garden, where its first year bloom display was so so. I view gardening as an adventure and kind of gave up on it not expecting to see it again. It was planted next to a Jacobs Ladder and a May Night Salvia. This year the foliage on the Jacobs Ladder was very lush and the Salvia doubled its height to 38" and I didn't notice much anything else in that area until the new blooms of the Indian Pink showed up in June. They burst open around July 1. What a nice surprise. It's double the size of year 1. The male Ruby Throat, who tries t... read more


On Sep 28, 2016, Cen from Hughesville, MD wrote:

A favorite of hummingbirds. The plant grows well for me in the shade and freely self seeds. I also seem to get a second bloom.


On Jun 8, 2014, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Seed collection takes some expertise. This is from a fact sheet produced by The University of Kentucky:
Spigelia mariclandica seed is found in a two-sided capsule. The seeds are grouped into small balls of 4-7 seeds that separate readily. The capsules ripen from July 1 through July 15 in the UKREC Botanic Garden. . Unfortunately, within one or two days the seed will explosively dehisce (Darke, 2002) and be lost to the seed collector. The capsule will be black on the top and black-green on the bottom just before this happens; seed capsules collected at this time will split open ejecting the seed into the bag shortly after removal from the plant. Seed collection requires daily observation. It is recommended that seed be sown immediately after collection to ensure high percentage ger... read more


On Jan 30, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Easy, showy. A superb perennial, not grown nearly as often as it deserves.

Reblooms well if regularly deadheaded.

Late to emerge from dormancy in spring. Cullina has managed to propagate this species from cuttings, but does not recommend division.

To what everyone else has written, I only want to add that there's a form in cultivation in which the yellow tips to the flowers are a chartreuse yellow-green, which I think is even more beautiful than the usual.

Rick Darke says that though it tolerates shade, the many sources that say it prefers shade are wrong---it does best in full sun, and can tolerate some drought once established.


On Dec 30, 2013, catlady88 from LINVILLE, VA wrote:

I would love to have some seeds or buy some if someone can write back and let me know how to get them. Please!!


On Dec 9, 2013, bamboofish from Ottawa,
Canada wrote:

I've seen spigelia growing at the Montreal Botanic Garden, zone 5.
I'm looking for anyone else growing it in these Canadian conditions, and who might also have some seed to share.



On May 24, 2013, loovejonesx from Durham, NC wrote:

I have one of these in full sun & one in partial shade & the one in full sun has become one of the most stunning, the most prolific flowering clumps that I have ever seen. It has grown thicker & has more flowers each year, & I've had it for about four years now.

The yellow & red flowers have become more brilliant in color with each year. It loves water & responds to being a well drained , but consistently watered site. I couldn't find anything negative to say about this plant if I tried.


On Mar 30, 2011, corgimom from Pontotoc, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant grows naturally in our wooded areas here but also thrives in my flowerbeds. They do best with some evening shade and require more water than most plants.

Clumps do multiply quickly and will become showy in a matter of a few years.


On Aug 24, 2010, vineviz from Baltimore, MD wrote:

It's a beautiful plant, and it seems to be tolerant of a wide range of sites. Mine (in Maryland) is in full sun with a soil that is mostly clay, but it seems to be quite happy. The heat hasn't bothered it, and I've just got a rebloom in late August. Quite nice.


On Jul 2, 2010, weeds4wildlife from Clarksburg, NJ wrote:

This plant was the hit for the tour of the gardens this year! Plants in both gardens were fin full bloom. A striking carefree plant, none of guests could identify and my favorite boast, it is native! Visually appealing, tolerates heavy soil and a hummingbird attractant! We are adding a greenhouse, so weedsforwildlife.com will be propagating this for next season.


On Jun 25, 2010, hishelpmate from Perry, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I received this plant from a friend last spring (2009) and it bloomed beautifully in a small container. It did die back to the rootball in winter and I took it inside to overwinter.
It reared its pretty little stalks come spring and I moved the container outside. I did notice it struggling in the full sun despite the fact that I watered it every day. I had planned to move it to my butterfly/hbird raised bed this summer but have instead left it in its container and placed it under the shade of a palm tree on my deck.
I planted a lilac tree in the center of my raised bed and will wait until it reaches a height so as to provide some shade before moving my pink.
As for beauty....the vibrant red contrasts with the deep yellow as its blooms stack upon the stalk much l... read more


On May 27, 2010, Expatdame from Tallahassee, FL wrote:

This is our second year growing Indian pink in Tallahassee (zone 8b). It's in a bed of dappled light under oak trees, with morning sun and afternoon shade. We were afraid this winter's many freezing nights had killed it, but it came back better than ever and spread nicely. Gorgeous blooms this year for close to a month in late April/early May. A real keeper!


On May 24, 2010, kento from Memphis, TN wrote:

It's growing very well for the second year in full sun in Memphis, TN.


On Oct 19, 2009, redhead3kids from Port Alberni,
Canada wrote:

Are there any places in Canada I can get this plant?


On Oct 17, 2009, GinPetty from Berea, KY wrote:

There was only one Indian Pink growing on our farm and I'd never seen any others in the area. When we sold the farm, I dug it up and moved it with me, then dug is up when we moved again. That first plant is still living 14 years later. It and its offspring now form a sea of red/yellow each June in the shade bed underneath a Bradford pear. Even after they bloom, they're pretty all the way until frost. Each year I catch a few seeds before they explode and just poke them in the ground. They come up the next year but never get more than six inches tall. Come the following year, though, they take off and never slow down, getting bigger and bigger each year. An excellent choice for any shade bed.

Editing to mention that I have several with a varigated leaf...green and silv... read more


On Oct 14, 2009, tufe from Newtonville, MA wrote:

It's beautiful. It does much better in dry conditions than I thought it would and it self-seeds pretty well--not a lot, but enough to make me happy.


On Oct 13, 2009, OESP from Malvern, AR wrote:

These attractive plants grow wild on our property in southcentral Arkansas. We have successfully moved them away from trafficked areas. White-tailed deer love them. Any suggestions on seed propagation (e.g., cold-soaking)?


On Oct 13, 2009, figaro52 from Lakes of the Four Seasons, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:

This little gem grows reliably for me in full sun. I love the little yellow "stars" at the tip of the red tubular flowers.


On Oct 12, 2009, Villiers from Chadds Ford, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I was skeptical when I bought this plant in bloom in the summer of 2008. It had a tropical look to it and I was not sure it would make it through the winter in my zone 6a garden.
I never watered it after the first two weeks, and I was surprised when it came back in the spring. It is a very easy plant to grow in semi shade, no bugs bother it and best of all, deer leave it alone!


On Oct 12, 2009, clantonnaomi from Iredell, TX wrote:

I live in zone 8 in central Texas and the Indian Pinks have done very well here. I have them planted in dappled shade around a fountain under pecan trees and they are a mass of blooms in the spring and early summer. I highly recommend them.


On Aug 14, 2005, janesdtr from Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a lovely plant that blooms twice for me. First in June and again in August. One interesting note, however, I bought it for a light shade area that met all of the plant's criteria, but it was very unhappy. I moved it to a dry, full sun area of my yard and it's been amazingly happy there.
*2007 Follow up - I was diligent this year about dead-heading the plant and it bloomed all summer/fall long!


On May 31, 2005, Soozie from Ballwin, MO wrote:

I have this plant growing in full sun. This is the second year for it and it is lovely. It has travelled to the other end of the garden and is blooming there also. I will try to divide it and move some of it to another garden.


On Jan 5, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Plants, medicinally, are used to expell worms and is a narcotic. Usage should be followed by a "saline aperient" like magnesium sulphate or unpleasant side effects could occur.

I will be buying plants or starting seed in the spring and will change my rating according to overall experience, including growing the plant.


On Jan 2, 2005, starlight1153 from Seale, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is an excellent plant for shady areas or those that get dappled sunlight. I grow it down here in a very naturally mulched wet sort of boggy area.

I have dig up divisions and tranplanted them to other shady areas to colonize this wildflower. After transplanting I watered several times a day and had prepared the ground with high organic matter. They love leaf mulch!

The plants will look like they want to die back for about two weeks after transplanting, but give them plenty of water and they will perk right back up.

I place panyhose around the seed pods to catch them. They are tiny green balls that turn to black when ripe. If you bring in the black ripened seeds pods to open, make sure you keep them in the panyhose or place in a c... read more


On Aug 7, 2004, thehumblebumble from Heber Springs, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

This native perennial is one of my favorite shade plant. I have heard people call it the lipstick plant here and I can understand why by looking at the beautiful bloom. The foliage is bright green and shiny. Clump forming.


On Jul 18, 2004, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very lovely...... this Spigelia marilandica is a native and the colloquiall name indian pink refers to native AMericans...... woudl looooove some....... !!!!! :)


On Apr 28, 2004, chitwoodstock from Camden, AR wrote:

A wonderful shade loving plant. There's really not too much you can't say about this plant, nice foliage, striking yellow and red blooms, in a nice cluster and last but not least, a great cut flower for the dinner table, throw in some coreopsis and white penstimmon and you've got it made!


On Jul 20, 2003, MAllen from Covington, LA wrote:

Fabulous perineal for the woodland shade garden. Pinch back faded blooms for a second show 3 to 4 weeks later. Seed and cuttings are slow. Sow seeds outside in fall covered to their depth in medium. I use a flat with a glass pane over it to keep out critters. If the leaves start to look yellow, add lime to the soil. Likes the dappled light of a forest.