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Scarlet Painted-cup Castilleja coccinea

Phonetic Spelling
kas-tee-LAY-uh kok-SIN-ee-uh
Description

Indian Paintbrush, the state flower of Wyoming, is an herbaceous biennial wildflower native to Canada and Eastern North America. In nature, it is often found on prairies, moist and open woodland, thickets, dry plains and hills. Because it has the habit of having a parasitic relationship with other plants, attaching to and absorbing some nutrients and water from the roots of other plants, it is usually found growing in the company of plants such as sagebrush. It is sometimes considered an annual but is primarily a biennial with a basal rosette the first year and flowering stalk the second year and plant death shortly after seed set. The new seed usually germinates in early fall and the cycle begins again. The genus name comes from an 18th century botanist, Domingo Castillejo, of Cadiz, Spain while the species name means scarlet.

Indian Paintbrush grows best in medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun, but does tolerate poorer soil and partial shade. It is difficult to grow from seed, but existing plants will reseed in optimum growing conditions. However, to maintain a colony of Indian Paintbrush in the garden, new plants or additional seeding is needed to supplement the original plants. Note that transplanting Indian Paintbrush usually kills it. Indian Paintbrush is listed as endangered in some states and as extinct in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Louisiana.

The plant is attractive in the garden with small greenish flowers hidden in axils of scarlet-tipped, fan-shaped bracts that appear to have been dipped in paint.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious diseases or insect pests.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#endangered#NC native#perennial flowers#wildflower garden#flowers late spring#rare#parasitic#flowers early summer
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#endangered#NC native#perennial flowers#wildflower garden#flowers late spring#rare#parasitic#flowers early summer
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Castilleja
    Species:
    coccinea
    Family:
    Orobanchaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada and Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    East Coast west to Texas and north to Canada
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts hummingbirds and bees.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 9 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Upper leaves (bracts) are deeply 3 to 5 cleft and tipped with bright red (sometimes pink or white). Bracts appear at the stem tops in dense spikes and which surround and hide the tiny greenish-yellow true flowers. Blossoms from April to July.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Two types of medium green leaves: entire, lance-shaped leaves in a basal rosette and stem leaves divided into 3 to 5 deep, narrow lobes.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Hairy, simple, unbranched stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Songbirds