Click on image for full screen view.

Flowers up-close.

Growth habit.

Flowers leave interesting red calyxes after petal fall.

Growth habit is airy.

Growth habit from above.

Flowers up-close.

Flowers and calyxes.

Bowman's Root, Indian Physic, American ipecac
Gillenia trifoliata


A vertical, branching perennial with dark red stems. Trifolate leaves are ovate, deeply veined, and serrated. Five-petal, star-shaped white flowers are borne in loose panicles in late spring and summer.

Plant Type: perennial

Plant Form or Habit: upright/vertical

Plant Use: In the back of beds and borders; as a specimen plant.

Light Requirement: full sun full sun/part shade

Flower Color:
Bloom Period:
early summer
Height: Minimum: 24 inches      Maximum: 48 inches

Width: Minimum: 18 inches     Maximum: 24inches

Foliage Texture: medium

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4

Water Requirements: average

Additional Comments: Prefers some shade during the hottest part of the day, and neutral to slightly acidic pH soil. Can tolerate drought once established. The root bark has been used to induce vomiting and for feverish illnesses, chronic diarrhea, constipation, and bronchial and asthmatic problems. More showy than G. stipulata.

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