Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa)
Description: 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.
Synonym(s): Texas Indian Paintbrush, Entireleaf Indian Paintbrush, Texas Paintbrush, Indian Paintbrush, Scarlet Paintbrush
USDA Symbol: CAIN13
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom Color: Red, Orange
Bloom Time: Mar, Apr, May
Water Use: Medium
Light Requirements: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Bloom Notes: 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.
Missing Images: Plant, Leaf, Flower
Data Completeness: Complete