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Castilleja linariifolia facts for kids

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Castilleja linariifolia
Indian Paintbrush in Grand Teton NP-NPS.jpg
Castilleja linariifolia, in the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Scientific classification

Castilleja linariifolia is a perennial plant, native to the United States and is the state flower of Wyoming. It has a number of common names including Wyoming Indian paintbrush, narrow-leaved Indian paintbrush, desert paintbrush, Wyoming desert paintbrush, Wyoming paintbrush, linaria-leaved Indian Paintbrush, and Indian paintbrush.

Castilleja linariifolia trio close
Castilleja linariifolia pinkish flowers


It grows up to one meter in height and has sparse, linear leaves which are between 20 and 80 mm in length and have up to 3 lobes. The flowers, which consist of a pinkish-red to yellow calyx and yellow-green floral tube, appear in panicles or spikes between June and September in its native range.


Narrow-leaved Indian Paintbrush (NGM XXXI p515)
An illustration from National Geographic in 1917.

This species occurs on rocky slopes and arid plains and is associated with sagebrush scrub as well as pinyon pine or juniper woodland. It is native to Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

State flower

When options were being considered for a state flower for Wyoming, Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard from the University of Wyoming promoted this species over rival candidates including the columbine and fringed gentian.

The State of Wyoming officially adopted the Indian paintbrush ("Castilleja linariaefolia") as the state flower of Wyoming on January 31, 1917.

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