by Linda Hauf, Waverly Hall, GA
My friend Doris and I were doing yard work for a neighbor whose property straddles the Fall Line here in Georgia, separating the red clay from the sandy soil found further southeast. In an area near the edge of sparse deciduous woods, we came upon clumps of the wild flower Indian Pinks or Pinkroot (Latin: Spigelia marilandica ). We were delighted and carefully wildcrafted ourselves a specimen for our home gardens.
I found information on the internet that told me it is a native from New Jersey through the southeast to Texas and is a member of the Loganiacea family, which includes a great many plants one would not think were related, from Butterfly Bushes to Carolina Jessamine. According to what I read, they are appearing rather early this year, usually making an entrance in mid-summer. However, this year they have appeared right on the heels of the Catesby Trillium and wild Easter lilies which are also in abundance in this particular wooded spot.
Indian Pink is hardy throughout Arkansas and as far north as zone 5. It’s best suited to well-drained, organic soil that receives good light but not direct sun. The north or east side of a house makes a good location. Once established, the plant will form a clump that will gradually get a foot or so across. Plants should be watered during dry weather.