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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Deer Indian Paintbrush - Castilleja cervina

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: SH
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from 3 widely separated collections in western Montana, including a 1901 collection in Missoula County near "Sunset Hill", a 1960 collection near Deer Lodge and an 1894 collection near Columbia Falls.
General Description
Deer Indian Paintbrush is a perennial, hemiparasitic herb with clustered, erect, branched stems that are 3-6 dm high and which arise from a branched rootcrown. The lower leaves are linear and entire-margined, while the upper leaves have a pair of spreading lobes. Foliage is glabrous or has minute, curled hairs. Flowers are borne in a spike at the top of the stems. Each flower is subtended by a 3-5-lobed leaf-like bract, which is broader than the leaves with yellowish tips. The yellow, tubular corolla, 18-25 mm long, tapers to a short hood, or galea, above and to 3 small lobes below. The tubular calyx, 15-20 mm long, surrounds the corolla and is cleft more deeply below than above; each of the lateral lobes divide again into 2 pointed lobes which are 2-3 mm long. The fruit is a capsule with many tiny seeds.

Flowering and fruiting in July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
There are many species of yellow-colored Castilleja in our area. Castilleja pallescens and C. cusickii have glandular hairs on the galea, but C. cervina does not. C. rustica and C. lutescens have a calyces that are divided equally above and below. C. flava has foliage with longer, straight hairs.

Species Range

Range Comments
Southern BC, adjacent northern ID and WA and northwest MT. Regional endemic.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 6

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Grasslands and open coniferous forests in the valley and lower montane zones.

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Citation for data on this website:
Deer Indian Paintbrush — Castilleja cervina.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from