Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A different sort of paintbrush

with 14 comments

Castilleja purpurea var. lindheimeri 0618

By far the best-known paintbrush in Texas is Castilleja indivisa, know as Indian paintbrush, which you saw last month mixed in with bluebonnets. Another species that grows in central Texas is Castilleja purpurea, which in spite of its species name comes not only in purple (var. purpurea) but also in yellow (var. citrina) and a shade that ranges from orange to red (var. lindheimeri). It’s obviously the last of those varieties that you’re seeing here from my visit to the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County on April 8.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 25, 2016 at 5:01 AM

14 Responses

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  1. A paintbrush for every colour ( not quite )…..how sensible.


    April 25, 2016 at 6:18 AM

  2. Once again, the profusion of species you are so fortunate to have around you has stoked my envy.

    Steve Gingold

    April 25, 2016 at 6:51 AM

    • Profusion indeed. Off the top of my head I can think of only one other local wildflower that comes in such a diversity of colors, and that’s phlox.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2016 at 7:41 AM

  3. This paintbrush has quite a pretty color


    April 25, 2016 at 7:11 AM

  4. I know I’ve seen this variety at least once, but at the time I thought it a malformed example of Castilleja indivisa. I do remember where I saw it: alongside the road just a mile or so south of Nash Prairie.

    Looking at this beauty, it occurs to me that it resembles a paintbrush more than Castilleja indivisa. If forced to varnish with a flower, this is the one I’d choose.


    April 25, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    • Isn’t it interesting the way we can remember the specific place where we saw something? Perhaps on one of your recent rambles near the Nash Prairie you even came across a now-rare Nash Rambler.

      Who better than a varnisher to think about the paintbrush-ness of a flower?

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2016 at 9:04 AM

  5. This luscious paintbrush makes me want to grab mine!


    April 27, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    • Go for it. Painters of the world, unite: you have nothing to lose but your blank canvas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 27, 2016 at 7:45 AM

      • So many wonderful things to paint, so little time!


        April 27, 2016 at 9:06 AM

        • Photography has the advantage there, but I still find it hard to be everywhere at once. (What’s wrong with me?)

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 27, 2016 at 9:12 AM

          • Exactly~haven’t you cloned yourself yet? No, me neither. sigh.


            April 27, 2016 at 9:15 AM

            • It’s not unusual for me to come across a site that I know must have looked great a few weeks earlier. Occasionally someone alerts me to a place like that, but mostly it’s hit and miss. Still, on average, there are enough hits to make it worth while.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 27, 2016 at 2:14 PM

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