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Lachnanthes caroliana (Carolina redroot)
Smith, R.W.

Lachnanthes caroliana

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

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

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

8 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Fibrous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Normally no more than 3 feet tall, but flowers sometimes exceed that height by 2 or 3 feet.
Leaf: Gray-Green.
Flower: Flowers in 2 to 4 inch clusters.
Fruit: Red juice.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: White to pale yellow. Blooms usually barely taller than the leaves, but occasionally up to 3 feet higher than that.


USA: AL , CT , DE , FL , GA , LA , MA , MD , MS , NC , NJ , NY , RI , SC , TN , VA
Canada: NS
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 Conditions

Water 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.


Use 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
Attracts: Birds


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Lachnanthes caroliana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lachnanthes caroliana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lachnanthes caroliana


Record Modified: 2023-04-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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