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Texas Paintbrush
Castilleja foliolosa
About Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja foliolosa) Nurseries Show All Photos Castilleja foliolosa is a species of Indian paintbrush known by the common names woolly Indian paintbrush and Texas Indian paintbrush. It is native to California and northern Baja California, where it grows in coastal sage scrub, chaparral and rocky desert and mountain slopes. Despite its common name, it does not occur in Texas. It is a parasitic or semi-parasitic plant on a variety of small shrubs such as Chamise, Golden Yarrow or Sagebrush. This perennial wildflower grows up to 60 centimeters tall and is coated in woolly white or gray branching hairs. The leaves are linear in shape and up to 5 centimeters long. The flower cluster is made up of layers of leaves tipped in bright orange-red to dull yellowish green. Between the colorful leaves appear the nondescript flowers, which are greenish in color and pouch-shaped. The fruit is a capsule just over a centimeter long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb, Annual herb

Max. Height
2 ft (0.6 m)

Max. Width
2 ft (0.6 m)

Summer Deciduous

Flower Color
Red, Yellow, White, Orange, Green

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry, open places, rocky slopes of the coast, Coast Ranges and foothills of the Sierras


Elevation ?
-304' - 8079'

Annual Precip. ?
2.7" - 63.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 2.84"

Coldest Month ?
38.5° F - 58.8° F

Hottest Month ?
58.6° F - 88.5° F

Humidity ?
0.63 vpd - 39.01 vpd

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Sunset Zones ?
7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24

Companion Plants
It is found with most chaparral plants to which it attaches itself by the roots in a parasitic or semi-parasitic manner.

Landscaping Information
Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks


Propagation ?
Propagate by sowing seeds along with the seed of a host plant (chaparral shrub).  For propagating by seed: No treatment. Sow with seeds of an herbaceous perennial as some Castilleja species are obligate parasites. Bouteloua gracilis has been recommended as host.

Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Texas Indian Paintbrush, Woolly Indian Paintbrush, Woolly Paintbrush

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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