Indian Pink

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Bird and wildflower enthusiasts: what native plant has one-sided spikes of brilliant red flowers whose petals are the color of  the male scarlet tanager on the outside and the female  on the inside? Spigelia marilandica of course! This plant, also known as Indian Pink or Pinkroot, is now blooming in wet areas on the Domain. Clumps of Spigelia dot ravines and streambanks in our mesic forests.  A boon to hummingbirds for its nectar, it contains alkaloids and calcium oxylate crystals. Native Americans used it to treat parasites — a cure that was probably as uncomfortable as the disease.


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