FLORIDA PAINTBRUSH

Also Known As
ENGLISH
—Coastal Plain Chaffhead 
Hairy Chaffhead 
Paint Brush 


Order:   Asterales
Family:   Asteraceae
Genus:    Carphephorus
Species: corymbosus

Florida n c s

Animal Interaction
Bee Insect Butterfly
Other Uses
Medicinal
I remember hiking into Tiger Creek Preserve, near Lake Wales, during a scorchingly hot late September day. I forgot my water, and was parched. But my heart was filled with happiness when I saw a few hundred of these native pink-flowered beauties in full bloom. There were nectaring butterflies in abundance, and I walked slowly through them all. There were Gulf Fritillaries, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, various Skippers, and more... what a sight. According to Daniel Austin, in his encyclopedic book Florida Ethnobotany, this species is a urinary antiseptic that was sold under the proprietary name Rasapen. 



—MEDICINAL USES:  Roger Hammer writes, “Leaf extracts werecombined with horseradish as a urinary antiseptic drug called Rasapen.”  Rasapen is a "urinary antiseptic drug." According to Daniel Austin in his encyclopedic book Florida Ethnobotany, it was this very this species that is a urinary antiseptic and was sold under the proprietary name Rasapen. Also, ActaChemaScandinavica published an article entitled “Volatile constituents of Carphephoruscorymbosus and Carphephoruspaniculatus.” by Karlsson K, Wahlberg I, EnzellCR. [11] 
—WILDLIFE: Craig Huegel writes, “few wildflowers in Florida attract butterflies as well as Florida Paintbrush.”  “Attracts many butterflies and other pollinators.” [7]  

More Details

MAIN PHOTO: Shell Creek Preserve, Punta Gorda, FL, Sept. 25, 2016
—NATIVE TO:  South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  In Florida. Throughout north and central Florida, also in most southern and two panhandle counties.  IRC South Florida status: rare. [10] 
—HABITAT:  Sandhills, pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, upland mixed forests, mesic flatwoods, dry meadows, and ruderal sites.
—DESCRIPTION:  A short-lived [7] perennial herb 3-4,’ and sometimes 5’ tall. [3]  Craig Huegel, an expert, tells us that it is a long-lived perennial. 
- STEMS: Stems leafy, hairy, “finely downy.” [2] 
- LEAVES: Basal leaves present at flowering time.  Stem leaves alternate, sessile. Plants die back each winter.   
- INFLORESCENCE: Inflorescence a terminal cluster, 5-6” wide, of showy bright pink, tubular flowers, appearing in the autumn, September-December.  Some occasionally flower as early as June.  Ray florets lacking. 
- FRUIT: Fruit an achene. 
—CULTURE:
- HARDINESS: USDA zones 8A-9B/10. [7/6] 
- LIGHT: Full sun. 
- WATER:  Craig Huegel says that it is the most drought tolerant species in the genus. 
- PROPAGATION:  By seeds.  Seedlings readily pop up near the mother plant.  


Flowering Calendar
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D


Flower Color
Pink

Habitat
Scrub Pine Flatwood Sandhills, Dry Meadows
Native?
Native


Plant Form
Herbaceous Deciduous Perennial Herb
Height
4 feet
Width
1 feet
Root type
Fibrous Root

Hardiness Zone
8a to 10b
Light
Full Sun
Soil
Sandy
Tolerances
Drought Tolerant
Spacing
1 feet
Watering
Dry



Sources for acquiring

Some native plant nurseries occasionally carry this species.  


References

[1] Florida Wildflowers in Their Natural Communities, Taylor 
[2] Wildflowers of the United States, Rickett 
[3] Wikipedia 
[4] Space Coast Wildflowers 
[5] sunkissed on Dave’s Garden 
[6] Dave’s Garden 
[7] fnps.org 
[8] Mark Hutchinson on fnps.org 
[9] Florida Ethnobotany, by Austin 
[10] Regional Conservation 
[11] ncbi.nim.nih.gov 
[12] Hawthorne Hill Wildflowers 
[13] Shirley Denton 
[14] floridanativenurseries.org 
[15] Central Florida Wildflowers, Hammer 
[16] Florida Plant Atlas 
[17] Bob Peterson 
[18] bonap.net 
Last Updated: October 28, 2017

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