Known as Indian Paintbrush, or painted cup, this wildflower is biennial, meaning it will grow for two years, self-seeding along the way. Think of it as a fun surprise when it pops up in the garden!
Known to be difficult to grow from seed, this plant will put on growth the first year, and flower the second, dying back to the earth after seed dispersal.
An interesting fact about the Indian paintbrush is that the orange-red “petals” really aren’t petals at all, they are brightly colored leafy bracts that surround the tiny actual flowers which are yellow-green. You may find that it is necessary to add additional plants for the first few years until there is a solid patch established, after which should be more self-seeding.
Be choosy about where you set this selection, it thrives in bright sun and medium-dry soils. This species is generally considered near extinct in the wild in New England, so if you are interested in growing unusual and rare plants this might be a fun one to try!
Source: grown from seed originally from Minnesota. Prairie Moon Nursery.
Castilleja coccinea (Indian paintbrush)
SIZE AND POT INFORMATION: More details coming in May type:
full sun, part sun/part shade
medium-wet to medium-dry
height: 2' plant spacing: 1/sq ft bloom time: May, June bloom color: red
good plant companions
This plant is "hemiparasitic" and needs to grow next to something like the following plants to thrive: Pennsylvania sedge, little bluestem grass, beardtongue (Penstemon sp)
deer resistant (please note that does not mean deer proof) salt tolerant. Some salt exposure should not be fatal to the plant but some leaf burning may still occur.