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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Indian Paintbrush Garden

Last summer our garden intern, Jenna Ramunno, started a project that looked at propagating Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja spp.) with four different types of host plants to see which host plant best serves the paintbrush.  In case you haven't read, Indian Paintbrush are hemi-parasites, meaning they attach their roots the the roots of another plant to siphon off some water and maybe nutrients.  Without a host plant, paintbrush would be able to survive, but likely not bloom.  It doesn't hurt the host plant, but gives the paintbrush some extra blooming power!

This spring, the paintbrush came back beautifully!  And even attracting some unwanted biodiversity...

Here's triumphant Jenna, one year after starting the experiment.


We'll be keeping track of the progress this summer, so stay tuned for updates!

Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute

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