Scarlet paintbrush (yellow form)
(Castelleja coccinea)

Scarlet paintbrush

Castelleja coccinea

Why we chose it for Chicago

The Scarlet paintbrush is a beautiful prairie plant native to the midwestern and eastern USA. This species is one of the larval hosts for several types of Checkerspot butterflies and is pollinated by both ruby-throated hummingbirds and several kinds of bees.

Quick Facts:

Plant type
Herbaceous perennial

Plant height:
20-50 cm

Growing conditions
Clay or loam.

Tolerates medium dry to medium wet soils.


Season to flower
Spring, summer

How to plant

It is best to sow seeds directly outside in the late fall.

Additional information

Scarlet paintbrush is an annual or biennial. It has brightly-colored bracts (yellow or red) that look like they have been dipped in paint surrounding inconspicuous flowers

The species is hemiparasitic so its roots form connections with other species, often grasses and rushes. They do not harm the other species, but will draw some nutrients from them.


We invite you to join us in planting the seed of hope: deepen your relationship with nature, protect and wonder at our vast Earth.

Other seeds on tour

Red cedar Juniperus virginiana
New York

Red cedar
(Juniperus Virginiana)

Seeds_Rosa canina_2

Wild roses
(Rosa canina / Rosa corymbifera / Rosa rubiginosa / Rosa tormentosa)

rudbeckia hirta seeds lighter
Ann Arbor

Bee-balm, Black-eyed Susan and Yellow Coneflower
(Monarda fistulosa / Rudbeckia hirta / Ratibida pinnata)


Corn Poppy
(Papaver rhoeas)


Hungarian ash
(Fraxinus angustifolia ssp. pannonica)

Salvia nemorosa_seeds-c-Rudolf-Hromniak

Balkan Clary
(Salvia nemorosa)