|Similar Indian paintbrush, Castilleja miniata, Pedicularis canadensis, Castilleja indivisa, Castilleja sessiliflora|
Indian paintbrush castilleja coccinea
Castilleja coccinea, commonly known as Scarlet Indian paintbrush or Scarlet painted-cup, is a flowering plant in the Orobanchaceae family. It is usually found in moist meadows, prairies, and barrens from Maine to Minnesota, and south to Florida and Louisiana.
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. 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").
C. 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.
Though it can survive on its own, studies indicate a forty-fold growth increase when its roots parasitize those of another plant for nutrients. It is primarily pollinated by ruby-throated hummingbirds who can transfer the pollen long distances between typically small and scattered populations of this plant.