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Castilleja rupicola

cliff Indian paintbrush, cliff paintbrush

Habit Herbs, perennial, (0.8–)1–2(–3) dm; from a woody caudex; with a taproot.

many, decumbent to ascending, unbranched, sparsely pubescent, hairs spreading, wavy, fairly short, soft, eglandular, sometimes glabrous proximally.


purple to green, narrowly, rarely broadly, lanceolate, 1.4–4 cm, not fleshy, margins plane, flat to involute, (0–)3–5(–7)-lobed, apex acute to acuminate;

lobes divergent, spreading-ascending, linear, long, not much narrower than mid blade, often with secondary lobes, creating little frilly fans, apex acute or obtuse.


2–6 × 2–3.5 cm;

bracts proximally greenish or deep purple near base, distally red, scarlet, or crimson to red-orange, rarely orange, salmon, pink, or yellowish white, ovate to orbicular in outline, 5(–9)-lobed;

lobes spreading, linear to linear-lanceolate, long, arising below mid length, apex acute to rounded.


straight or slightly curved, 25–35(–45) mm;

tube 9–15 mm;

beak exserted, adaxially green, purplish, or yellow-green, 14–22 mm;

abaxial lip deep green, reduced, 0.5–2 mm, 6–12% as long as beak;

teeth incurved to erect, green, 0.5 mm.


proximally purple, green, or whitish, distally colored as bract lobes, 15–25 mm;

abaxial and adaxial clefts 8 mm, ca. 40–50% of calyx length, deeper than laterals, lateral 1–5 mm, 10–20% of calyx length;

lobes triangular, apex obtuse or acute.

Castilleja rupicola

Phenology Flowering (May–)Jun–Sep.
Habitat Sunny rocky slopes, scree, talus, ledges, fellfields, subalpine to alpine.
Elevation (200–)1000–2500 m. ((700–)3300–8200 ft.)
from FNA
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Castilleja rupicola is usually found in the subalpine and lower alpine zones in the Cascade Range from extreme southern British Columbia south to northern Douglas County, Oregon. Though it can be numerous where it occurs, the species as a whole is uncommon. One atypical population occurs in a moist, shaded, mossy, north-facing ravine on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, at less than 250 m. These plants often bear secondary divisions on deeply dissected leaves and bracts.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 17, p. 653.
Parent taxa Orobanchaceae > Castilleja
Sibling taxa
C. affinis, C. ambigua, C. angustifolia, C. applegatei, C. aquariensis, C. arachnoidea, C. attenuata, C. brevilobata, C. brevistyla, C. campestris, C. cervina, C. chambersii, C. chlorotica, C. christii, C. chromosa, C. chrymactis, C. chrysantha, C. cinerea, C. citrina, C. coccinea, C. collegiorum, C. covilleana, C. crista-galli, C. cryptantha, C. cusickii, C. densiflora, C. dissitiflora, C. disticha, C. elata, C. elegans, C. elmeri, C. exserta, C. flava, C. foliolosa, C. fraterna, C. genevieveana, C. glandulifera, C. gleasoni, C. gracillima, C. grisea, C. haydenii, C. hispida, C. hololeuca, C. hyperborea, C. indivisa, C. integra, C. kaibabensis, C. kerryana, C. kraliana, C. lacera, C. lanata, C. lasiorhyncha, C. lassenensis, C. latifolia, C. lemmonii, C. leschkeana, C. levisecta, C. linariifolia, C. lindheimeri, C. lineariloba, C. lineata, C. litoralis, C. lutescens, C. martini, C. mendocinensis, C. mexicana, C. miniata, C. minor, C. mogollonica, C. mollis, C. montigena, C. nana, C. nelsonii, C. nervata, C. nivea, C. occidentalis, C. oresbia, C. organorum, C. ornata, C. pallescens, C. pallida, C. parviflora, C. parvula, C. patriotica, C. peckiana, C. peirsonii, C. pilosa, C. plagiotoma, C. praeterita, C. pruinosa, C. puberula, C. pulchella, C. purpurascens, C. purpurea, C. raupii, C. revealii, C. rhexiifolia, C. rigida, C. rubicundula, C. rubida, C. salsuginosa, C. scabrida, C. schizotricha, C. septentrionalis, C. sessiliflora, C. subinclusa, C. suksdorfii, C. tenuiflora, C. tenuis, C. thompsonii, C. tomentosa, C. uliginosa, C. unalaschcensis, C. victoriae, C. viscidula, C. wightii, C. wootonii, C. xanthotricha
Name authority Piper: Erythea 6: 45. (1898) — (as Castilleia)
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