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Common Name: Indian Pink
Spigelia marilandica is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
South-eastern N. America - New Jersey to Florida.
Rich dry soils on the edges of woods[
Succeeds in most fertile soils in semi-shade[
]. Tolerates full sun if the soil remains reliably moist in the growing season[
], in a shady position it tolerates considerably drier soils[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[
A very ornamental plant[
The whole plant, but especially the root, is anthelmintic and narcotic[
]. A safe and effective anthelmintic when used in the proper dosage, it is especially effective with tapeworms and roundworm[
]. Its use should always be followed by a saline aperient such as magnesium sulphate otherwise unpleasant side effects will follow[
]. Another report says that it can be used with other herbs such as Foeniculum vulgare or Cassia senna[
]. These will ensure that the root is expelled along with the worms since the root is potentially toxic if it is absorbed through the gut[
]. The root is best used when fresh but can be harvested in the autumn then dried and stored[
]. It should not be stored for longer than 2 years[
]. Use with caution and only under professional supervision[
]. The plant contains the alkaloid spigiline,which is largely responsible for the medicinal action but side effects of an overdose can include increased heart action, vertigo, convulsions and possibly death[
Seed - requires stratification, pre-chill for 3 weeks prior to sowing. It will usually germinate in 1 - 3 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Division in the spring.
Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.