Desert Paintbrush

Castilleja chromosa

Desert Paintbrush, Castilleja chromosa, © by Michael Plagens

West Fork Sycamore Creek, Mazatzal Mts., Arizona, USA. 31 March 2018.

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HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL: Several leafy stems rising to less than a half meter in height from a perennial root system that is hemi-parasitic on adjacent plants.

FLOWERS: Color is provided by red bracts (modified leaves) with the actual paler flowers partly enclosed. The lower infloresence bracts have one or more linear lobes. The identification of the various red-flowered species is confusing and subject to revisions as more research is conducted.

Desert Paintbrush, Castilleja chromosa, © by Michael Plagens

LEAVES: The leaves usually show one or more linear lobes and are dark green.

RANGE: Often in rocky outcrops in canyons throughout much of the mountain west including Colorado and California.

FRUIT: The fruit is a dry, two-valved capsule with many seeds.

UNARMED. Without thorns.

Orobanchaceae -- Broomrape Family

More Information:

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
The Flora of Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 6 April 2018.