Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Scrophulariaceae >>> Castilleja applegatei

Wavy-leaf Indian Paintbrush

Castilleja applegatei

Photo by Michael Plagens

Photographed near French Creek, Bradshaw Mts., Yavapai Co., Arizona, USA. May 24, 2009.

FLOWERS: What at first appear to be bright red flowers are actually red to yellowish bracts subtending a narrow, red-margined flower. The calyx and corolla are bilaterally symmetrical. Blooming period in the Sonoran Desert is from mid spring through summer.

PERENNIAL: An herbaceous perennial of Upper Sonoran Desert - more common in juniper and oak woodlands at higher elevations. Mostly less than 60 cm tall.

LEAVES: Alternate leaves with long silky hairs and shorter gland-tipped hairs. Shape is elongate and with wavy margins, usu without lobes.

RANGE: Rare in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Found mostly in the highest elevations. Many varieties and subspecies have been named based on degree of foliage hairiness and flower color; plant in its various forms is found throughout the western United States.

FRUIT: Upon maturity, dry capsules split open releasing a number of seeds.

UNARMED. Without thorns.

Scrophulariaceae -- Figwort Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009