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A North American prairie native, Indian paintbrush will color a meadow or perennial garden with red-orange clusters of showy bracts in late spring or early summer. This unusual native relies on other plants for part of its nutrients. Its roots will grow until they come in contact with another plant's roots. It will then tap into the host plant¿s roots to obtain valuable nutrients. The host plant is commonly a grass plant and is not usually harmed by the relationship. Indian paintbrush is known to be slightly unpredictable -- some years the foliage will be brilliantly colored and other years it will be muted. This unpredictability is part of the plant¿s charm -- you never know what the year will bring! Indian paintbrush grows best in full sun and well-drained soil.
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