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CASTILLEJA miniata

Image of Castilleja miniata

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Scrophulariaceae

Botanical Name

CASTILLEJA miniata

Plant Common Name

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Tall in stature, meadow paintbrush brings upright tufted clusters of orange-red to pinkish red flowers from spring to fall. A semi-evergreen perennial native to the wetlands of western North America (no further east than the Rocky Mountains), it is also called the giant red Indian paintbrush.

The lance-shaped leaves are medium to dark green and overall are fine in texture upon the tall, wispy stems. Beginning in late spring, the stem tips bear a cluster of showy bracts (modified leaves) that are red, orange-red or pinkish-red in color that protect the green, tubular flowers that are pollinated by hummingbirds. This cluster looks like a coarse, upright paintbrush. Seeds are dropped and germinate nearby, slowly producing a colony of plants if growing conditions are good. It will be deciduous in areas with harsh winters, semi-evergreen where milder.

Grow meadow paintbrush in full to partial sun exposures in soils that are fertile and average in moisture to wet. Plants are difficult to establish, even from seed; transplanting a mature plant results in its death. Introduce container-grown seedlings in a naturalized moist meadow setting. Paintbrushes are parasitic and as they grow the roots grow and attach themselves to roots of neighboring grass and wildflower roots for extra nourishment. Once a plant is established do not disturb it and allow seedlings to mature to extend the life of the colony. Use it as a show-stopping wildflower in the moist meadow or along the edge of a pond or lake.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-36" / 45.7cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Western United States, Northwestern United States, Southwestern United States, Alaska, California

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Yellow Green, Light Green, Orange Red

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No