Indian Pink, a Bright Spot in the Shade
So here’s a plant that probably isn’t as widely used as it should be: Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica).
Most shade perennials bloom in spring, some in fall. Indian Pink is one of the few that will bloom in early to mid-summer (at least here in the Chicago area). The tubular red and yellow flowers are certainly eye-catching. They are also attractive to hummingbirds.
I’ve tried to grow some other brightly colored wildflowers in shade. Fire Pink (Silene virginica) died on me almost immediately. Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) looks great for a year or two, then it also fades away. Indian Pink, while not setting the world on fire, seems perfectly content to settle into our back garden.
This clump-forming perennial is native to Southern Illinois, though not to the Chicago area. Close enough, I say. It likes moisture but doesn’t seem to require very moist soil.
Another think I like about this plant is that it emerges late in the season, making it a good companion for spring bulbs.
I’m looking forward to bigger and better clumps of Indian Pink in summers to come.