Carolina Redroot

Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana)
Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana)

Common Names

Carolina redroot and paint root.

Latin Name

Lachnanthes caroliana.

Synonyms: Gyrotheca tinctoria, Gyrotheca tinctorium, Lachnanthes caroliniana, Lachnanthes tinctoria, and Lachnanthes tinctorium


Carolina redroot is in the Haemodoraceae, or bloodwort, family.


Carolina redroot is a perennial that grows to a height of about 3 feet with characteristics much like an iris.  

Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana)
Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana)


The leaves are flat and sword shaped much like iris leaves. The roots and rhizomes produce a red sap when injured.

Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana)
Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana)


The flowers are yellowish brown in color and have three petals. They are born in terminal clusters.  Blooms appear in the spring, summer and fall.


Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana) occurs naturally in swamps, bogs, riparian areas, swales, wet ditches, wet prairies, and wet forests.

Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana)
Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana)

Native Range

It is native to the following states: AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, LA, MA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, RI, SC, TN, and VA.

Landscape Use

It is an perennial that likes full sun to part shade with consistently moist soil.  It is a good choice for problem wet areas.  

Be sure to plant it in large masses so that it doesn’t get lost in the landscape.  If you are growing it for wildlife use this is especially important to provide enough flower nectar, and seeds, for your wildlife visitors.

Wildlife Use

The flowers are a nectar source for butterflies and bees.  The seeds are a favorite of sandhill cranes.


Small plants, and rhizomes, of Carolina redroot can be easily transplanted.  It can also be grown from seed, but the seeds do need 90 days of cold stratification.

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