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Lesser Indian Paintbrush

Castilleja minor

Photo by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. April 24, 2009 in riparian habitat.

FLOWERS: What at first appear to be scarlet red flowers are actually bracts subtending a narrow, pale yellow flower. The calyx and corolla are bilaterally symmetrical. Blooming period is from mid spring through summer.

PERENNIAL: An herbaceous perennial of riparian zones in the Sonoran Desert as well as higher elevation zones. Mostly less than 1 meter tall.

LEAVES: Alternate leaves are elongate to linear.

RANGE: Rare in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Found mostly in shady spots along riparian streams with moist soil. With varieties and subspecies this plant 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