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Spigelia ‘Ragin Cajun’ – Indian pink. Rare. Not Pink.

From what I can tell Spigelia ‘Ragin Cajun’ is not offered for sale anywhere. I’ve only seen it once, at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. My understanding is you may be able to see it at Juniper Level Botanical Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I have a section of this website dedicated to rare plants. Spigelia ‘Ragin Cajun’ should perhaps be added to a new category for almost impossible to find, super rare plants.

‘Ragin Cajun’ produces bright burnt-red flowers that bloom May to June. Whereas the native species has wine-red flowers that favor the cooler part of the spectrum, ‘Ragin Cajun’ crosses over to the hot. Comparing the two really is a great way of envisioning warm vs. cool color palettes.

The flowers on both ‘Ragin Cajun’ and the species are unusual and lovely.

This particular cultivar is reputedly more bushy and floriferous than the species, but I’m not sure this is a good thing. The plant I photographed, as well as the pictures online, show a plant that looks like it has been tamed into a form more fitting of well-mannered, orderly annuals such as begonias or marigolds.

Assuming you were able to find it, growing ‘Ragin Cajun’ in more shade would loosen the growth habit up nicely.

Spigelia ‘Ragin Cajun’ can be grown in full sun to shade. The native species I’ve come across in naturalized settings grows and flowers fine in fairly heavy shade. Both the species and this cultivar grow 18″-24″ in height. I would grow Spigelia where it gets afternoon shade.

It likes moist, loose soil and is tolerant of a fairly wide variety of growing conditions.

Considering it is no longer offered for sale, my suspicion is that ‘Ragin Cajun’ does not come true from seed, perhaps reverting back to the species. This is purely speculation, but if true, the only option would be vegetative propagation.

More information:
Winter hardiness zones: Zones 5-9

Native Distribution:
The map represents the distribution of the native species. ‘Ragin Cajun’ was discovered in Louisiana.

Genus/speciesSpigelia marilandica ‘Ragin Cajun’
Common name(s)Indian pink
Of noteAt present, impossible to find commercially for sale.
Fall colorinsignificant
Water requirementsaverage, moist soil conditions
Soil qualityrich, average
Suggested use(s)cottage gardens, native collections, naturalized
Hardiness zone(s)5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Deer resistantno
Deciduous or evergreendeciduous
Flower colorred
Bloom periodmid to late spring, summer
Exposurefull sun, afternoon shade, filtered light

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