Native to the Southeast, the Midwest, and Texas, Indian paintbrushes are among the most difficult wildflowers to get established in garden conditions, but once growing, they are quite tough. Small, inconspicuous flowers appear in spring among showy fan-shaped bracts that range in color from pink and purple to yellow, orange, and flame red. Sow seeds thickly among plants such as grasses or perennials, because during germination these wildflowers may draw nourishment from the roots of other plants.
C. indivisa. INDIAN PAINT- BRUSH, TEXAS. Annual or biennial. Native to southeastern Oklahoma, eastern Texas, and the Coastal Plains. Plant varies from 6 to 16 in. tall, with a width of 6 in. Orange-to-red, 3- to 8-in.-long flower spikes bloom through spring.
C. purpurea. PRAIRIE PAINTBRUSH, PURPLE PAINTBRUSH. Perennial. Native to the Midwest and Texas. To 9 in. tall, 6 in. wide. Flowers vary widely in color; they may be purple, but are just as often pink, red, or yellow. Also known as lemon paintbrush. Blooms in late spring.