Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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This erect perennial grows to less than a meter tall in calcareous upland woodland forests and bluffs of the central panhandle plus a few western panhandle counties. The range extends throughout the southeastern United States as far west as Texas and Oklahoma, north through the area along the Ohio River and northeast into Maryland.
The distinctive flowers appear in spring. The tubular corolla is yellow on the inside and red outside, opening at the top into a five-lobed star. There are usually four to seven pairs of leaves on the four-angled stem. The leaves are opposite, entire, sessile and glabrous.
A tea made from this plant was used by Native Americans and early settlers to treat intestinal parasites. An alkaloid contained in the plant can cause dizziness, convulsions, increased heart rate and death.