Spigelia marilandica - Indian Pink or Pinkroot.

Pinkroot © 2010 Bo Mackison

While we were in the St. Louis area, we took a morning off from the graduation festivities, and visited the Shaw Nature Reserve, an extension of the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is located south of St. Louis in Chesterton, Missouri, and spans 2500 acres of natural Ozark landscape. We spent most of our limited time wandering the wildflower garden.

I’ve spent much of my adult life identifying wildflowers, but never in Missouri. I came across flower upon flower that I’d never seen before, rather a nice experience to see flowers through fresh, unknowing eyes. But once I returned home, I had to go to my ID books.

I loved this red wildflower with an eye catching yellow star, certainly a showy specimen from the Show Me State! Formally it is known as spigelia mariclandica, but it has nearly a dozen common names, including Pinkroot,  Indian Pink, Woodland Pinkroot and Worm Grass. It is found in the southeastern United States, extending as far north as Virginia, Kentucky, southern Indiana, southern Illinois and Missouri, and as far west as Texas.

On Sunday, it was windy, and even after I’d put up a temporary windbreak, I still had to patiently wait while hoping the breezes would settle. As hot as it was – the high reached 96˚F and the humidity was high – the breeze felt fine to me, but played havoc with most of my attempts to photograph the many wildflowers on display.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Gandalf says:

    Star babies. This blossom looks like it wants to jump up and give you a hug.

  2. What a delightful little flower! I’ve never seen or heard of it either. M and I spent a year living in the St. Louis area and did visit the Missouri Botanical Garden a few times but didn’t get to the Shaw Nature Reserve.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I’ve never seen a flower quite like it, either, Robin. Sure doesn’t grow in Wisconsin!

  3. What a pretty one that is! Very showy!

  4. I’ve never seen one of these either. What exquisite detail and color. Gorgeous macro!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      That red and yellow are really vibrant, aren’t they, Marcie… The colors play off one another.

  5. Bo Mackison says:

    That red and yellow are really vibrant, aren’t they, Marcie… The colors play off one another.

  6. This photo certainly has a lot of star quality. Incredibly unique I have to say. Glad you had a new find to photograph! 🙂

Leave a Reply