Castilleja Species, Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Scarlet Painted-Cup

Castilleja coccinea

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



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Scarlet (dark red)


Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


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


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)

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Arlington, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Savery, Wyoming

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Gardeners' Notes:


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


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 ... read more


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.


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

Have spotted Indian Paintbrush on numerous sunny hills in Colorado.