Castilleja spp., Indian paint brush


Perrenial or less commonly annual herbs, rarely shrubs, hemiparasitic; stems decumbent to erect; leaves alternate, sessile, entire or pinnately divided, cauline; inflorescence a short to elongate spike or spicate-raceme; bracts gradually differing from the leaves upwards, becoming shorter, broader, more incised and colored, more conspicuously colored than the flowers in most species, red in bird-pollinated species, yellows, greens, and purples in bee-pollinated species; calyx tublar, subequally cleft into 4 segments or by various degrees of lateral fusion becoming unequally cleft into 2 lateral primary lobes, each terminating in 2 segments to entire, somewhat accrescent, the segments often colored as in the bracts; corolla mostly greenish (in ours), tubular, elongate and narrow bilabiate, the upper lip galeate (hooded), beak-like, its lobes united to the tip and enclosing the anthers, the lower lip somewhat 3-saccate with 3 or more less rudimentary or in some subpetaloid lobes that nearly equal a short galea, external to the upper lip in bud; stamens 4, didynamous, attached near or above the middle or the corolla-tube, the anther-cells unequally placed the outer one attached by its middle and the other susended by its apex and smaller; stigmas united and capitate, or sometimes 2-lobed; capsule more or less asymmetrical, loculicidal, oblong-oviod, globose; seeds numerous, the loose testa alveolately reticulate; x = 12.

Cronquist, A., Holmgren, A.H., Holmgren, N.H., Reveal, J.L., and Holmgren, P.K. (1984) "Intermountain Flora" pg. 477-478, vol. 4, The New York Botanical Garden New York.