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Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri
Castilleja purpurea (Nutt.) G. Don var. lindheimeri (A. Gray) Shinners
Lindheimer's paintbrush, Lindheimer's prairie paintbrush, Lindheimer's Indian paintbrush, Prairie Paintbrush
Synonym(s): Castilleja mearnsii, Castilleja williamsii
USDA Symbol: CAPUL
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri shares most of the characteristics of its species, C. purpurea, but is distinguished by floral bracts in a range of oranges and reds. It is more often found in clay soils than varieties citrina and purpurea. This perennial paintbrush ranges from the Blackland prairies of north-central Texas south to the Rio Grande plains in calcareous gravels, sands, and clays. A prairie plant adapted to its environment by part-parasitizing grass roots.
This variety is named after Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879) who is often called the Father of Texas Botany because of his work as the first permanent-resident plant collector in Texas. In 1834 Lindheimer immigrated to the United States as a political refugee. He spent from 1843-1852 collecting specimens in Texas. In 1844 he settled in New Braunfels, Texas, and was granted land on the banks of the Comal River, where he continued his plant collecting and attempted to establish a botanical garden. He shared his findings with many others who shared his interest in botany, including Ferdinand von Roemer and Adolph Scheele. Lindheimer is credited with the discovery of several hundred plant species. In addition his name is used to designate forty-eight species and subspecies of plants. He is buried in New Braunfels. His house, on Comal Street in New Braunfels, is now a museum.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
, Linear Leaf Pubescence:
Villose Leaf Margin: Entire Breeding System:
, Monoecious Inflorescence: Spike Size Notes:
Usually 6-9 inches tall but can be twice that. Leaf:
Green to grey-green Flower:
Spikes to 6 inches long. Individual flowers within bracts 25-40 mm
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Orange
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Usually blooms in May. Color ranges from red to orange to peach.
DistributionUSA: TX Native Distribution:
North-central Texas to south Texas Native Habitat:
Calcareous grasslands of clay, gravel, or sandy soils
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Calcareous clays, sands, and gravels.
Conditions Comments: Does best when in association with prairie grasses, as it semi-parasitizes their roots.
Orange-bracted grasslands perennial
for calcareous, especially clay, soils in its Texas range. Use Wildlife:
Attracts insect pollinators. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Plant prairie grasses nearby if plant appears to be in decline.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0791
Collected Apr 27, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike FoxNPSOT 0793
Collected Apr 27, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike FoxNPSOT 0760
Collected Apr 24, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
Record Last Modified: 2009-12-05
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG