One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The root of any of several American plants of the genus Spigelia (family Loganiaceae), used as an anthelmintic. Also: the plants themselves, having showy funnel-shaped flowers which are red outside and yellow within; especially S. marilandica of the southern United States (also called Carolina pink, Indian pink, worm grass), and S. anthelmia of the Caribbean and South America (also called worm grass).
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in The Annual Register. From pink + root.
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