The bold red and yellow tubular blossoms against the new green leaf make Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) an unusually attractive Smoky Mtns wildflower. In the Smokies it is rare, growing only in the limestone-based soils of the northwest corner of the National Park. These are the same limestone deposits that create the caverns and sinks of this area in the Smokies and neighboring Tuckaleechee Cove and Dry Valley. Look for this wildflower along Rich Mountain Rd or Ace Gap Trail in late May or early June.
This plant is also called Pinkroot or Wormgrass because it contains the poisonous substance, spigeline, which was used as a de-wormer.
Please stop in to see the complete display of Smoky Mtns photography at the William Britten Gallery on Glades Rd in Gatlinburg, along the historic Arts and Crafts Trail. There may be a special memory waiting for you to take home!
And if you are a wildflowers enthusiast, please join my Smoky Mountains Wildflowers page on Facebook. We share photos, bloom sightings and locations.