General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 2 to 4 feet
Plant Spread: 2 to 4 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Drought tolerant
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Common names
  • Bowman's Root
  • Mountain Indian-Physic
  • Fawn's Breath
  • Indian Physic
  • American Ipecac
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Gillenia trifoliata
  • Synonym: Porteranthus trifoliatus

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  • Posted by wildflowers (North East Texas - Zone 7b) on Jan 16, 2015 1:16 PM concerning plant:
    Indian Physic is a deciduous perennial native to North America and Canada, even though it was named after a German botanist, Gillenius. Heat tolerant, but usually found growing in shade or part shade. The reddish stems, bronze-green leaves, and white flowers tinged with pink make a striking display. The roots are known to be used medicinally as a mild emetic.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on May 26, 2019 5:14 PM concerning plant:
    This wonderful woodland edge species is a new perennial to me. It usually is called Bowman's-Root but it is also called Indian Physic, referring to some medicinal properties that the native peoples used. Its native range is of some of southeast Canada and then from New York & Massachusetts down to northern Georgia & Alabama to Arkansas and some spots in Missouri, one in southern Illinois & one in southern Michigan and some of eastern Ohio. Its airy white star-like flowers bloom in May-June. Its olive-green trifoliate leaves with leaflets to 4 inches long turn a good yellow to red-orange fall color. It is a long-lived perennial with a thick, woody crown that never needs or should be divided. It is slow to establish. It is sold by a number of native plant nurseries.
Plant Events from our members
MissMew On September 4, 2015 Obtained plant
John' Garden
christine2 On May 30, 2022 Obtained plant
christine2 On May 1, 2017 Obtained plant
christine2 On June 1, 2014 Obtained plant
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