Rhexia-leaf Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja rhexifolia). Photo courtesy of Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, bugwood.org
Castilleja sp. Mutis ex L.f.
Scientific Name Synonyms:
Life Span: Perennial
Growth Characteristics: A 9 to 18 inches tall forb. Reproduces by seed and tillering.
Flowers/Inflorescence: Flowers are inconspicuous, surrounded by leafy, colorful bracts. The showy effect of this plant is produced by these bracts, which occur in a variety of colors (pale yellow to deep purple).
Fruits/Seeds: Fruit is a capsule.
Leaves: Linear or lance-shaped, alternating along the erect stem. Margins entire or lobed.
Indian paintbrush is widespread throughout Utah, occurring from the desert floors to the subalpine meadows. Some species are known to be partial root-parasites, especially with sagebrush.
Soils: Can occur in a variety of soils, but most abundant in loams.
Associated Species: Sagebrush, aspen, bromes, lupine.
Uses and Management:
Indian paintbrush's main importance is its aesthetic value. Palatability of Indian paintbrush has been rated as fair to good for sheep, poor to fair for cattle, and poor for horses.