Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Wednesday - October 20, 2004

From: Butte, MT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Indian paintbrush wedding
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

I live in western Montana and have become quite fond of the flower known as indian paintbrush. I will be getting married this next July, and would like to incorporate the flower into my wedding; However, I was wondering if you knew who I could talk to about finding out if there is such a thing as a domestic look a like for this flower.

ANSWER:

Indian Paintbrush (botanical: Castilleja sp.) is a robust genera, with around 20 species occurring within your state. I do not know if there is a specialty grower/florist in your region that would be able to cater to your needs. However, this genera is in the Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae), and you may be able to find a native plant within the family that closely resembles your preferred species of Indian Paintbrush. There are some Penstemon sp. (some red species) that are native to your eco-region, as well as Delphinium sp.; generally, delphinium do not produce the brilliant red flowers with which you are accustomed, but may be a good replacement regarding form. I recommend contacting your local chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society. They will definately be able to provide you with an answer that will come close to your needs. Also, try your local Agricultural Extension agent (Montana Extension Agency) to retrieve input on options for Paintbrush replacements.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Deadheading a petunia and why
July 13, 2008 - Can you please tell me the correct way to de-head a petunia and why?
view the full question and answer

Non-native citronella mosquito plant wintering inside in Charlotte NC
October 20, 2011 - Can I bring the citronella mosquito plant in the house over the winter, or should it be planted outside. I live in Charlotte, NC.
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Year Round Interest
February 16, 2015 - I'm involved in a paradigm shift from traditional bedding plants (petunias, zinnias, begonias, etc.) to native plants. I realize that native plants have natural life cycles where they look pretty bad...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Mexican bonebract in Floresville, TX
November 12, 2008 - My kids and I finally identified a small plant that we found growing in our pasture. There was only one and it is lovely. It is the Mexican Bonebract. What I am interested in finding out is how to tra...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a lakeside slope from Bracey, VA
May 24, 2012 - We are trying to beautify and stabilize a relatively large lakeside steep slope with a southern exposure in central Virginia. The soil is characterized by red clay and shale rock. How can we turn this...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.