New Book ** Edible Perennials: 50 Top perennials from Plants For A Future. Current interest in forest or woodland garden designs reflects an awareness that permanent mixed plantings are inherently more sustainable than annual monocultures. They safeguard and enrich soil ecosystems... more >>

Search Page Content
   Bookmark and Share
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

Lachnanthes carolina - (Lam.)Dandy.                
Common Name Red Root
Family Haemodoraceae
Synonyms L. tinctoria.
Known Hazards Poisonous[4].
Habitats Sandy and peaty shores and swamps[43].
Range Eastern N. America - New Jersey and Rhode Island to Florida.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Lachnanthes carolina is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Lachnanthes carolina Red Root

Lachnanthes carolina Red Root
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Cancer;  Homeopathy;  Narcotic;  Nervine;  Tonic.

The root is astringent, narcotic, tonic and nervine[4]. Taken internally it produces a peculiar form of cerebral stimulation and narcosis, it was often used as a narcotic by some native North American Indian tribes[4]. It is also used in the treatment of bowel complaints, coughs, pneumonia and the spitting of blood[61, 257]. A strong decoction has been used as a wash for cancer[257]. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the whole fresh plant, harvested when in flower[4].
Other Uses
A red dye is obtained from the root[1, 4, 61].
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a humus-rich loamy soil[1]. Plants are not quite hardy in Britain and are usually grown in a cold greenhouse[1, 4]. They will quite possibly succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country.
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring[1].
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[43]Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany.
A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
José Waizel-Bucay Fri Jan 9 2009
Synonym: Lachnantes caroliniana (Lam.) Dandy; Lachnantes tinctoria (Walter ex J. F. Gmel.) Elliot
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.
Rate This Plant                                         
Please rate this plants for how successful you have found it to be. You will need to be logged in to do this. Our intention is not to create a list of 'popular' plants but rather to highlight plants that may be rare and unusual and that have been found to be useful by website users. This hopefully will encourage more people to use plants that they possibly would not have considered before.
Add a comment/link                                         

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

Subject : Lachnanthes carolina  

Links To add a link to another website with useful info add the details here
Name of Site
URL of Site