As I wandered through the gardens this week, I noticed one of my favorite native plants in bloom.
Spigelia marilandica or Indian pink is a small flower growing about 1 ft. tall. The bloom begins with a tubular, red flower and then opens up to a yellow, star-shaped bloom on the end. Over time, it will make about a 1 ft. clump.
I have this in my half shade/half sun bed where it receives some afternoon sun. It tolerates so many growing conditions, from part sun to full shade, to moist or dry soil. It is a perennial in zones 5-9 and it’s good to see some nurseries starting to carry these. I started these from seed I collected on a motorcycle trip in Colorado and planted them and then forgot about them. So add being ignored to its attributes. Our highway department also plants these in the strips between interstate highways and it is stunning to see masses of these in bloom.
Collecting seed from this flower can be tricky, though. Timing is everything. Seeds will form in a tight pod and then will suddenly explode spewing seeds everywhere. (Columbines do this, too.) So when the seed pods start to form, slip a piece of cheesecloth or pantyhose around them so you can collect them easily.
Hummingbirds are attracted to the red and it’s a great source of nectar for them as well. It is listed as one of the top ten native plants for hummers by many hummingbird organizations.
Does anyone else have a not so common flower they enjoy?