Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - April 03, 2005

From: Galveston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Genetics reason for color variation in Indian paintbrush
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are the color variations in Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) a matter of genetic mutation or minerals in the soil? I say it's genetic and the rest of the family says it's environmental.

ANSWER:

Congratulations! You are right that the color variations of Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) are due to genetics. "Normal" color variations range from carmine to brick red to salmon. Less common are yellow- and white-flowered individuals. While soil conditions can have a small effect on flower color, the variations you are seeing are genetic in origin.

 

From the Image Gallery


Entireleaf indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

More General Botany Questions

Geographic determination of flower colors
August 30, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I'd like to find out if there are any correlation between geographic location and the statistic of flower(native) colors. Here in the Rockies, there seems to be a lot more ye...
view the full question and answer

Official definition of native plants
March 06, 2008 - Does the Wildflower center have an official definition of "native" plants?
view the full question and answer

Will lead accumulate in the flower nectar of plants used for phytoremediation
January 16, 2009 - I'm attempting to phytoremediate lead in my garden with mustard and/or sunflowers. I also keep bees. I understand that lead is sequestered in roots and stalks. Would the nectar also be contaminate...
view the full question and answer

Question about booklet, Native and Adapted Landscape Plants
June 24, 2009 - In the booklet"Native and Adapted Landscape Plants for Central Texas", the light requirements for some plants are written in a way that I do not understand. Is Sun/Part Shade different from Part Sha...
view the full question and answer

Withering plants recover with water
February 17, 2008 - Why do withering plants stand up when you give them water?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.