Lachnanthes caroliana (Lam.) Dandy
Carolina Redroot, Paint Root
Haemodoraceae (Bloodwort Family)
Synonym(s): Gyrotheca tinctoria, Gyrotheca tinctorium, Lachnanthes caroliniana, Lachnanthes tinctoria, Lachnanthes tinctorium
USDA Symbol: LACA5
Found mostly in coastal environments from Louisiana east to Florida and Cuba and north to Nova Scotia, where it is listed as a threatened species by Canada's Species at Risk Act, Carolina Redroot has grass-like foliage and creamy yellow summer blooms that blend well with other plants native to the eastern coastal plains. It tends to be less common from Tennessee and Maryland northward and is listed as threatened, endangered, or of special concern in several US states. Its seeds are favorites of Sandhill Cranes.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Size Notes: Normally no more than 3 feet tall, but flowers sometimes exceed that height by 2 or 3 feet.
Flower: Flowers in 2 to 4 inch clusters
Fruit: Red juice
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Blooms usually barely taller than the leaves, but occasionally up to 3 feet higher than that.
DistributionUSA: AL , CT , DE , FL , GA , LA , MA , MD , MS , NC , NJ , NY , RI , SC , TN , VA
Native Distribution: Nova Scotia to Louisiana in the west and Florida and Cuba in the east and up Mississippi River basin to Tennessee.
Native Habitat: Lakeshores, Longleaf Pine savannas, woods, bogs, swales, coastal plains.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Sand
Conditions Comments: Requires consistent moisture.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Excellent for coastal prairie gardens with native grasses.
Use Wildlife: Seed prized by Sandhill Cranes. Plant in masses to attract them.
Use Other: Liquid was pressed from rhizomes for a red dye, but the method of use has been lost.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
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Research LiteratureReslit 1292 - Reversal in ovary position from inferior to superior in the Haemodoraceae: Evidence from floral ontogeny (1998) M. G. Simpson
Reslit 2363 - Embryological Development of Lachnanthes caroliniana (Haemodoraceae) (1988) M. G. Simpson
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Lachnanthes caroliana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lachnanthes caroliana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lachnanthes caroliana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2021-03-19
Research By: TWC Staff