En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 05, 2007

From: Norwalk, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Castillea indivisa as Texas native Indian Paintbrush
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Upon researching the Texas Indian-Paintbrush I have satisfactorially come up with the latin name Castilleja foliolosa, funny thing is on the plants.usda.gov site it shows that this plant grows native in California not Texas. However, upon looking up Entireleaf Indian Paintbrush(USDA site) aka Texas Paintbrush, Scarlet paintbrush (Lady Bird Johnson site) On the USDA site it shows that this plant grows native in Texas and a few surrounding states. It's curious that the Castilleja foliolosa is not called the California Indian-Paintbrush. After hours of tail-chasing to find the true Texas Indian-Paintbrush that grows native to Texas this is my government backed conclusion. Maybe, only a Texan knows the truth.

ANSWER:

Maybe not. Nine species of Indian-paintbrush are native to Texas. The two species most widely ranging and most common in Texas are Castilleja indivisa and Castilleja purpurea. By all rights, either could claim the name Texas Indian-paintbrush. In reality, Castilleja indivisa really is commonly known as Texas Indian-paintbrush - as well as by other names - while Castilleja purpurea is more commonly referred to as Plains Indian-paintbrush or Downy Indian-paintbrush.

After considerable effort, it is still a mystery to us why the California native, Castilleja foliolosa would be called Texas Indian-paintbrush. Some Texans might say it's wishful thinking. While we don't know now, we're not giving up - Texans don't quit. When we discover the answer to the mystery, we'll publish it here.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Plantings of Castilleja in Texas
April 04, 2012 - I am a graduate student interested in studying different species of paintbrush (Castilleja) in Texas. I understand that the Texas Dept of Transportation has been seeding wildflowers along Texas highwa...
view the full question and answer

School wildflower, native plant garden
October 23, 2007 - I am helping my daughter's third grade class plant a very small (about 5 ft. square) wildflower/native plant bed that is in full sun. I'm interested in flowering plants that bloom in the very early...
view the full question and answer

Wintering over Bluebonnets in a pot in Oklahoma
November 22, 2009 - I live near Tulsa, OK, and I have spent the last year trying to grow bluebonnets in a container. I have been very successful in this process and they are so beautiful and full, but now I am worried ab...
view the full question and answer

Bleeding Heart-Like Plant Identification in PA
May 09, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We have a plant that looks almost like the bleeding heart, as in the way the bell shaped (not heart) white flowers hang downward on the stem. However, the leaves are broader and...
view the full question and answer

Growing bluebonnets from seed in Maitland FL
May 17, 2011 - Can I grow bluebonnets from seed in Maitland? The soil is quite sandy, and I do have sunny, dry places to grow them. Are there any special requirements necessary away from their native habitat?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center