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Castilleja miniata

Castilleja miniata Douglas ex Hook.

 

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush, Desert Paintbrush, Giant Red Paintbrush

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyOrobanchaceaeBroomrape family of parasitic plants
GenusCastillejaNamed for Spanish botanist Domingo Castillejo
Speciesminiata“Saturn-red, flame, scarlet”

About plant names...

Giant red Indian paintbrush is native to much of western North America, one of the 200 or so species of genus Castilleja. If you’re interested in Castillejas, don’t miss Mark Egger’s superb photographic compilation on Flickr. They appear from April to October. See also this Castilleja comparison table.

Identification: Plants are 18-36" (45-91 cm) high, with unbranched or rarely branched stems. Stems are green, becoming purplish with age. Leaves are 1-2" (3-6 cm) long, lanceolate (lance-shaped) and entire (undivided), with sharp tips. The flowerheads, 1-6" (3-15 cm) in size, are mostly bracts (modified leaves), colored crimson or scarlet; the true flowers are small, green, and easily overlooked. Fruits are ⅛-⅜" (6-12 mm) in size, containing seeds that are ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1.5-2 mm). The species has many variants, as you can see from the references below.

Online References:

Castilleja miniata Douglas ex Hook., "boreosylvestris" form at Mark Egger’s Castilleja site on Flickr

Castilleja miniata Douglas ex Hook. var. dixonii (Fernald) A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr. at Mark Egger’s Castilleja site on Flickr

Castilleja miniata Douglas & Hook. var. fulva (Pennell) J.M. Egger at Mark Egger’s Castilleja site on Flickr

Castilleja miniata Douglas ex. Hook. var. miniata at Mark Egger’s Castilleja site on Flickr

Castilleja miniata Douglas ex Hook. var. oblongifolia (A. Gray) P.A. Munz at Mark Egger’s Castilleja site on Flickr

Castilleja miniata Douglas ex Hook., NW-central Alberta form at Mark Egger’s Castilleja site on Flickr

Castilleja miniata Douglas ex Hook., west-central Oregon form at Mark Egger’s Castilleja site on Flickr

Castilleja miniata on CalPhotos

Castilleja miniata on the USDA Plants Database

Castilleja miniata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Castilleja miniata from the Jepson Manual

References:

Turner, Mark, Gustafson, Phyllis, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, Timber Press, 2006, p. 367

Castilleja miniata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Castilleja miniata (Giant Red Indian Paintbrush, Desert Paintbrush, Giant Red Paintbrush)

9/1/2007 · Mt. St. Helens, WA
≈ 10 × 7" (26 × 17 cm)

Castilleja miniata (Giant Red Indian Paintbrush, Desert Paintbrush, Giant Red Paintbrush)

8/31/2014 · NM
≈ 8 × 11" (19 × 27 cm) ID is uncertain

Castilleja miniata (Giant Red Indian Paintbrush, Desert Paintbrush, Giant Red Paintbrush)

8/26/2014 · Rt. 53, El Malpais Nat. Monument, El Caldaron Area, El Malpais, NM
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Castilleja miniata (Giant Red Indian Paintbrush, Desert Paintbrush, Giant Red Paintbrush)

9/1/2007 · Mt. St. Helens, WA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Castilleja miniata (Giant Red Indian Paintbrush, Desert Paintbrush, Giant Red Paintbrush)

8/26/2014 · Rt. 53, El Malpais Nat. Monument, El Caldaron Area, El Malpais, NM
≈ 4½ × 5" (11 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

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