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Castilleja coccinea Downs Prairie

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Orobanchaceae
Tribus: Pedicularideae
Genus: Castilleja
Species: Castilleja coccinea

Castilleja coccinea (L.) Spreng.

Bartsia coccinea L.
Bartsia coccinea var. pallens Michx.
Castilleja coccinea f. alba Farw.
Castilleja coccinea f. coccinea
Castilleja coccinea f. lutescens Farw.
Castilleja coccinea f. pallens (Michx.) Pennell
Rhinanthus coccineus Lam.


It is usually found in moist meadows, prairies, and barrens from Maine to Minnesota, and south to Florida and Louisiana.

Syst. Veg. 2:775. 1825


International Plant Names Index. 2017. Castilleja coccinea. Published online. Accessed: Oct. 04 2017.
The Plant List 2013. Castilleja coccinea in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2017 Oct. 04. 2017. Castilleja coccinea. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: O4 Oct. 2017.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Castilleja coccinea in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Vernacular names
English: Scarlet Indian paintbrush, Scarlet painted-cup

Castilleja coccinea, commonly known as scarlet Indian paintbrush or scarlet painted-cup, is a flowering plant in the family Orobanchaceae. It is usually found in moist meadows, prairies, and barrens from Maine to Minnesota, and south to Florida and Louisiana.[1]


It is an upright, hairy, 1-to-7-decimeter (3.9 to 27.6 in) tall hemiparasitic plant. The stem is usually unbranched and rises from a basal rosette.[2][3] The basal leaves are oblong and mostly entire, while the alternate stem leaves are deeply and irregularly lobed. The common names for this plant reflect the showy red calyx, inside of which is the actual greenish-yellow corolla ("flower").

Castilleja coccinea can be distinguished from other Castilleja of the southeastern US because it has a 2-to-3.5-millimeter long, thin yellowish or orangish lip on the corolla, the inflorescence bracts are deeply lobed, and the basal rosettes of leaves are usually well-developed.[4]
Yellow color form in the Ozarks of Arkansas

C.coccinea have color polymorphism, which means that they can be yellow or scarlet in color, and this depends on the availability of pollinators such as bees. When pollinators are present, the scarlet C. coccinea tend to have a higher reproductive output, as they have higher seed and fruit set. On the other hand, the yellow C.coccinea would have a higher reproductive output when pollinators are scarce.[5]
Natural history

Though it can survive on its own, studies indicate a forty-fold growth increase when its roots parasitize those of another plant for nutrients.[6] It is primarily pollinated by ruby-throated hummingbirds who can transfer the pollen long distances between typically small and scattered populations of this plant.

Horn, Dennis (2005). Dennis Horn; Tavia Cathcart; et al. (eds.). Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians : the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society. [Edmonton]: Lone Pine Pub. p. 282. ISBN 9781551054285.
Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie (1983). Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas (9. printing. ed.). Chapel Hill, NC: Univ. of North Carolina Press. p. 961. ISBN 0807810878.
Porcher, Richard D.; Rayner, Douglas A. (2001). A guide to the wildflowers of South Carolina. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press. p. 116. ISBN 1570034389.
Weakley, Alan (2011). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States (Working draft ed.). Chapel Hill, NC (University of North Carolina): Not yet published. p. 843.
Kim, E. S., D. N. Zaya, J. B. Fant, and M. V. Ashley. "Reproductive trade-offs maintain bract color polymorphism in Scarlet Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea)". PLoS ONE 14: e0209176. doi:10.1371.
Spira, Timothy P. Wildflowers & plant communities of the southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont: a naturalist's guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, & Georgia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. p. 345. ISBN 9780807871720.

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