Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Castilleja indivisa


Entireleaf indian paintbrush, Texas paintbrush, Indian paintbrush, Scarlet paintbrush, Entire-leaf indian-paintbrush


Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)



Castilleja indivisa (Entireleaf indian paintbrush)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
One of the popular paintbrushes, this showy annual or biennial grows 6-16 in. high. Its several unbranched stems form clumps topped by bright-red, paintbrush-like spikes. The flowers are actually inconspicuous and greenish, but are subtended by showy, red-tipped bracts. They sometimes produce a light yellow or pure white variation mixed in with the reds. Together, the flowers and bracts form 3-8 in. spikes.

The roots of this plant will grow until they touch the roots of other plants, frequently grasses, penetrating these host roots to obtain a portion of their nutrients. Transplanting paintbrush may kill it. Indian paintbrush has a reputation for being unpredictable. In some years, when bluebonnets (which flower at approximately the same time as Indian paintbrush) are especially colorful, paintbrush will have only an average flowering year. Other years, paintbrush is spectacular.

Image Gallery:

86 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Margin: Entire
Size Notes: 6-16
Flower: Flowers in 3 inch spikes.
Fruit:
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Castilleja is an unusual member of the Scrophulariaceae, the snapdragon family. Its vivid “flower” color is actually provided by bracts – not flower petals - which are grouped around and under each of the inconspicuous flowers located on the upper third of the plant.

Distribution

USA: AR , LA , OK , TX
Native Distribution: S.e. OK, e. TX & LA
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Woodlands edge, Opening, Roadsides

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Sandy soils. Sandy Loam, Sandy, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: The roots of this plant will grow until they touch the roots of other plants, frequently grasses, penetrating these host roots to obtain a portion of their nutrients. Transplanting paintbrush may kill it.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Pocket prairie, Wildflower meadow, Shortgrass meadow, Grows in clumps, Garden
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Hummingbirds, Nectar-insects.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Buckeye butterfly.

Last Update: 2014-04-22