Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Scarlet Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja coccinea

Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Castilleja (kas-tee-LEE-uh) (Info)
Species: coccinea (kok-SIN-ee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Bartsia coccinea

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 10 photos.
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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Doofcat On May 21, 2014, Doofcat from GERMANTON, NC wrote:

I was extremely delighted to find two of these plants growing in my natural meadow/field today. I had been mowing the lot for the past two summers, but decided to let it go natural this year. So glad I did. I have the native grasses for the host plants and hope that they will reseed naturally this winter.
Location: Stokes Co./Northern piedmont/ NC

Neutral Cordeledawg On Jan 17, 2008, Cordeledawg from Cordele, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I'm planting a butterfly meadow around my pond and want as many native plants as I can find to sow. The Scarlet Indian Paintbrush is one of my favorites. In researching the germination techiques, I googled several sites to learn about parasitic plants. One of the sites I'm bookmarking is an excerpt from the North American Plant Society.

My sowing of this plant is a two-fold experiment. One method is to wintersow Castilleja coccinea seed mixed with oxeye daisy in an orange juice carboard container that will be planted in the ground as a whole unit, container and all. The other method is to baggie some in my refriderator in moist sand for two months(moist cold stratification). Since the seedlings may need a host of vascular, herbaceous and woody plants, I plan to sow these near Little Blue Stem grass as well.

Neutral tcfromky On Oct 11, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Few, if any, of the prairie plants put on as much show as Indian paintbrush when covering a prairie in early spring. Truly a sight to behold. Grows well in Kansas and Oklahoma, popping up in fields along roadways. As with most native plants, it's not easy to transplant.

Positive Per_U On Jul 6, 2004, Per_U from Golden, CO wrote:

Have spotted Indian Paintbrush on numerous sunny hills in Colorado.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Huntington, Arkansas
Golden, Colorado
Erie, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Cole Camp, Missouri
Lees Summit, Missouri
Sedalia, Missouri
Dillon, Montana
Germanton, North Carolina
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2 reports)
Arlington, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Savery, Wyoming

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