Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Indian Pink: A 'Top 10" Native Hummingbird Plant

This fall I obtained seeds through the GCA Seed Share site for Spigelia marilandica or Indian Pink. The plant is also called Pinkroot or Woodland Pinkroot.   I was really excited to find these seeds that were posted by Katherine Shepperly of GC of Morristown.

Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder, one of my go-to-sources provides a description:  Indian pink is a clump-forming, Missouri native perennial which occurs in moist woods and streambanks in the far southeastern part of the State. Features one-sided cymes of upward facing, trumpet-shaped, red flowers (to 2" long) atop stiff stems growing to 18" tall. Each flower is yellow inside and flares at the top to form five pointed lobes (a yellow star). Flowers bloom in June. Glossy green, ovate to lance-shaped leaves (to 4" long). 

Indian Pink photograph from Missouri Botanical Garden Web Site
This plant is listed as one of the top 10 native hummingbird plants by Operation Ruby Throat.  Be sure and check out their site for other great plants for The Ruby Throated Hummingbird.  I will!

The only difficulty in my yard is moisture, but I hope to find a good site as this is a terrific plant.

I'm a little late getting started, but still plenty of time.  I am going to use the water jug method that our club's Hort Committee has tried in the past.  A full description is provided earlier in our blog in a post titled Winter Sowing Workshop or What To Do With Your Left Over Water Bottles.

It only takes 10-20 minutes to prepare the jug, plant the seeds and tape the jug back up.  On a chilly 35 degree day I set my jug full of seeds outside and will now wait to see what happens. 

Prepared jug is ready and set in a sheltered,
north facing spot in the garden.

Hopefully in May there will be sprouts to pot up, harden off and share with other club members! 

I forgot to show photos of the seeds, so I asked Katherine to take a few of what she had left and to please share her photo.  This is how the seed looks when collected.
Tiny, tiny seeds!  Read below for help the collection process.

I also was interested in how and when to collect the seeds.  Dave's Garden has some great information on this plant.  One of the comments posted on their site led me to Univ. of Kentucky College of Agriculture that has an excellent and very specific instruction sheet on seed collection and propagation.  Most collectors indicate that the best method is to place a small bag over the seed pod so that they will drop into when ready.  You can see from the above photo how small the seeds really are, so that suggestion is a great one. 

1 comment:

  1. New information on seed collecting posted today on Indian Pink.