Indian Paintbrush

The Indian Paintbrush seem to be particularly vibrant this year…

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Castilleja sp.

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. 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.

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.

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8 comments on “Indian Paintbrush

  1. Jet Eliot says:

    Enjoyed the photos and info, thank you!

  2. Teresa says:

    Those are really bright! Great captures.

  3. ladyfi says:

    What bright and lovely shots!

  4. Lea says:

    Beautiful wildflower!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

  5. Liz says:

    Terrific captures. First time I’ve seen this flower.

    My entries:
    Liz (mcn)
    Liz (mot)

  6. Mitch says:

    Hi Erin. Great shots of a plant I’m not familiar with. Love the colour!!

  7. magicalmysticalteacher says:

    The Indian paintbrush is one of my favorite wildflowers–a real dazzler!

    Mary & a Splash of Red

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