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Wyoming Paintbrush, Narrow-leaved Indian Paintbrush, Desert Paintbrush - Castilleja linariifolia


Family: Orobanchaceae - Broom-rape family Genus Common Name: Indian Paintbrush Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb Subshrub
Castilleja linariifolia - Wyoming Paintbrush, Narrow-leaved Indian Paintbrush, Desert Paintbrush. The Castilleja genus - Indian Paintbrush - is named for Domingo Castillejo, an 18th-century Spanish botanist. The plants in this genus are hemiparasitic - while they produce their own nutrition, they also get nutrition from the roots of other plants when their roots touch and then penetrate those plants' roots (the entire Orobanchaceae family of plants are root-parasitic.) The vast majority of the approximately 200 species in the genus are found in western North America. Many of those species in western North America have very limited distribution, some only in some very specific, small area, such as Castilleja aquariensis, which is found only in the subalpine meadows of the Aquarius Plateau, which is entirely contained within two counties in southern Utah.

Castilleja linariifolia is, however, one of the more widespread members of the genus, being found in the mountainous areas of 10 western states. It is the state wildflower of Wyoming. The specimens shown here were photographed in Arches National Park in the desert of eastern Utah, and in the Petrified Forest National Park of eastern Arizona.

Found in:
AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WY
Castilleja linariifolia

Distribution of Castilleja linariifolia in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 29 May 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Arches National Park, Grand County, UT Date: 2016-August-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Generally in Castilleja species the more colorful parts of the inflorescence are the calyx lobes rather than the corolla of the flower. In Castilleja linariifolia the bracts are red (as shown here) or occasionally yellow; as with most Castilleja the calyx lobes are the same color as the tips of the floral bracts. The corolla is yellow-green with red on parts of the edges of the corolla lobes.
Castilleja linariifolia

Site: Arches National Park, Grand County, UT Date: 2016-August-29Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The inflorescence of Wyoming Indian Paintbrush is slightly hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Castilleja linariifolia

Site: Arches National Park, Grand County, UT Date: 2016-August-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves and stem of Castilleja linariifolia may be glabrous or slightly puberulent. They are yellow to gray-green in the early life of the plant, usually turning somewhat purplish as the plant ages. The leaves are linear and may be lobed.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Castilleja linariifolia

Site: Petrified Forest National Park, Navajo County, AZ Date: 2016-October-14Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Castilleja linariifolia is one of the taller of the Indian Paintbrushes, growing as tall as four feet. It is frequently a branching plant, although it may be unbranched.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Castilleja linariifolia

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer