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Castilleja angustifolia facts for kids

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Castilleja angustifolia
Castilleja angustifolia 1.jpg
Scientific classification
  • Castilleja chromosa A.Nelson

Castilleja angustifolia (synonym: Castilleja chromosa) is a species of wildflower known by the common names northwestern Indian paintbrush and desert Indian paintbrush. It is an herbaceous perennial native to the desert, scrublands, and woodlands of western North America. It grows in hot sandy soils and rock crevices in dry conditions.


This Indian paintbrush is under half a meter in height and has bristly gray-green to purple-red herbage. It stands in a clump of erect stems, each topped with an inflorescence of somewhat tubular yellow green flowers. The flowers are encased in bright red to orange-red bracts, sometimes tinted with purple, and usually fuzzy with a thin coat of white hairs. It flowers from May to September. The brightly colored bracts are used to attach pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies that would otherwise ignore the plant's small yellow green flowers. The centimeter-long capsule fruits contain honeycomb-patterned seeds. This plant can be red, orange, or yellow in color.

Desert paintbrush Castilleja chromosa hillside
Desert paintbrush blazing up through bitterbrush on eastern Sierra Nevada hillside

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