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harsh paintbrush

Castilleja hispida

Water:
Light:
Habit:
Height:
Bloom color:
Bloom time:
low
full sun - part shade
upright
6 - 18"
red
spring - summer

Photo credit: 

E. Conrad

This paintbrush is in its second season in a garden setting
This paintbrush is in its second season in a garden setting

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

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Open meadow habitat, growing with arrowleaf balsamroot and silky lupine
Open meadow habitat, growing with arrowleaf balsamroot and silky lupine

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

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Wild paintbrush outshines neighboring balsamroot
Wild paintbrush outshines neighboring balsamroot

Photo credit: Brian McHale

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This paintbrush is in its second season in a garden setting
This paintbrush is in its second season in a garden setting

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

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The unforgettable vivid orange-red bracts of the harsh paintbrush provide the garden with many weeks of color. Like all paintbrushes, these plants are hemi-parasites and require a host plant to thrive. Ours come potted with their hosts (often Idaho fescue), so it is important to plant them together! Harsh paintbrush is a xeric, sun-loving species, and will do well in a prairie or open woodland setting. They look stunning with lupine and arrowleaf balsamroot (a spring trifecta of sorts).