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

 Native Plant Database

Castilleja miniata

Giant red Indian paintbrush, Meadow paintbrush

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Castilleja miniata (Giant red indian paintbrush)
Glase, Terry
An erect perennial, from 1 1/2-3 ft. tall, with stems either unbranched or somewhat branched above. The flower cluster of this leafy plant resembles a ragged, crimson or scarlet paintbrush, calyx and bracts beneath each flower brightly colored. Leaves are lance-shaped and the torch-like flower spike is made up of vibrant orange, red or pink bracts and sepals hiding the small, green flowers.

Most Indian paintbrushes are partial parasites on other plants, their roots establishing connections with roots of other species. For this reason, they usually cannot be transplanted, and are difficult to grow from seed.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Pink , Orange
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NV , NM , ND , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , SK
Native Distribution: AK to AZ, e. to the Rockies
Native Habitat: Wet mt. meadows and stream banks below 11,000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet to moist, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Roots grow until they touch the roots of other plants, frequently grasses, then penetrate the roots of these host plants, obtaining a portion of their nutrients. Transplanting paintbrush usually kills it.

Last Update: 2015-12-02