All About Growing the Texas Paintbrush

Also known by the names Indian paintbrush, entireleaf Indian paintbrush, and the scarlet paintbrush, the Texas paintbrush is native to the United States. It is from the figwort, or Scrophulariaceae, family of plants. Botanically, it is listed as Castilleja indivisa.

Texas Paintbrush Description

This popular variety of paintbrush plants grows from six to sixteen inches tall. It has many stems that have paintbrush-looking spikes that are bright red in color. Flowers are not very showy. Leaves are green. Bloom season is between March and May. The best and most colorful part of the plant are the bracts and not the flowers.

Growing Guide

The Texas paintbrush prefers to grow in full sun conditions with a dry acidic soil. It may die if transplanted as the roots will grow until they touch upon another plant to get extra nutrients from those plants. Propagate by seed.


This annual is found in the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Typically, it is seen in roadsides, meadows, pastures, plains, and prairies.

Texas Paintbrush Uses

It is a larval host plant for the Buckeye butterfly and attracts other butterflies to the landscape. It works well as a nectar plant for insects and hummingbirds. Plant in wildflower meadows or in prairie lands, or use it in a shortgrass meadow.

This flower will reseed if given the opportunity, which makes this annual great for spreading across a field. It has nice color and an interesting look – quite like a paintbrush indeed.

Source: NPIN

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