En EspaŅol

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?


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
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
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


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.


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

Drought and pollution resistant flowers for Rock Falls, IL
February 08, 2009 - I am looking for hearty flowers for our city planters that are both resistant to drought and auto emissions. We are located in northern Illinois. Planting is done in May.
view the full question and answer

Can Texas bluebonnets grow in Reynoldsburg Ohio?
May 03, 2010 - I am a transplanted Texan now living in Central Ohio. I am tired of having to accept only pictures of the bluebonnets growing along the highways in Texas now and want to know if the weather is suitab...
view the full question and answer

Seeds for Fall bloom in Austin
May 31, 2010 - What seeds should I be planting now for fall blooms here in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Reducing Allergens in Yards and Gardens
January 31, 2012 - What are some allergen-free native plants to Central Texas that thrive in the soil and can survive in the weather?
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers for Missouri
September 06, 2006 - I live in the midwest, Wright City, Missouri. I have good dirt, not clay or sand. I love wildflowers. What kind of wildflowers can I grow here successfully?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center