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Wildflowers of Texas, Plant Resources Center, University of Texas at Austin

Prairie Indian Paintbrush   Castilleja purpurea  var.  purpurea
Figwort family — Scrophulariaceae (Orobanchaceae)

Also known as:
Purple Paintbrush, Prairie Paintbrush

Slides: (click for larger view)


Although the annual Texas paintbrush (on the left in the image with two species) is the famous one in Texas, there are eight other beautiful species in Texas, most of them perennials. The prairie paintbrush grows in rocky calcareous prairies of central and north-central parts of the state. There are three botanical varieties that vary in the color of their showy bracts--this purplish-pink one, a yellow one, and an orangy-red one. All Indian paintbrushes are hemiparasites--meaning that, although they produce most of their own food by photosynthesis, their roots tap into the roots of neighboring plants (including grasses and bluebonnets) to get part of the nutrition or chemical compounds they need.

Dried Specimens: (click for larger view)


Flowering Months: March, April, May

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