Greater Red Indian Paintbrush - Castilleja crista-galli
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
An uncommon species in Montana, where it is known from mountainous areas of the southwest and south-central portions of the state. Appears to be common and widespread enough that its viability is not at risk in the state.
Perennial. Stems erect, simple, 20–50 cm. Herbage puberulent. Leaves 2–7 cm long, linear to linear-lanceolate, the upper with 1 pair of linear lobes. Inflorescence glandular-puberulent, villous; bracts bright red, lanceolate with 1 or 2 pairs of lateral lobes. Flowers: calyx 20–28 mm long, primary clefts deeper in front than in back, lobes acute to acuminate, 3–8 mm long; corolla 26–36 mm long, galea 10–13 mm long, lower lip green, minute (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
is a difficult genus because hybridization and allopolyploid speciation (containment of multiple sets of chromosomes that are derived from different species) fuzz a species’ characteristics (Giblin et al. [eds.] 2018).
To identify Castilleja
species, it is important to (Giblin et al. [eds.] 2018):
* note colors of the bract, calyx, and corolla while in the field, and
* press many bracts, calyces, and corollas separately to show their shapes.Castilleja linariifolia
and Castilleja crista-galli
can be mistaken for one another. It is speculated that Castilleja crista-galli
is a hybrid product of Castilleja linariifolia
x Castilleja miniata
, because it can exhibit intermediate morphology. Studies are needed.Greater Red Indian Paintbrush
– Castilleja crista-galli
* Inflorescence bracts are bright red.
* Primary calyx lobes are cleft deeper in front than in the back.
* Calyx lobes are acute to acuminate.Wyoming Indian Paintbrush
– Castilleja linariifolia
* Inflorescence bracts yellow to orange.
* Flowers become more widely separated at maturity (than does C. crista-galli
* Calyx is conspicuously more deeply cleft on the side adjacent to the corolla lip than on the back. Calyx is curved back.
* Calyx lobes are acute.
Regional endemic of northwest WY, southwest MT, and northeast ID.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Meadows and grasslands in the montane to alpine zones (Lesica et al. 2012).
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus appositus
, Bombus bifarius
, Bombus fervidus
, Bombus flavifrons
, Bombus melanopygus
, Bombus sylvicola
, Bombus occidentalis
, and Bombus kirbiellus
(Macior 1974, Thorp et al. 1983, Bauer 1983, Mayer et al. 2000, Wilson et al. 2010, Pyke et al. 2012, Koch et al. 2012, Miller-Struttmann and Galen 2014, Williams et al. 2014).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Bauer, P.J. 1983. Bumblebee pollination relationships on the Beartooth Plateau tundra of Southern Montana. American Journal of Botany. 70(1): 134-144.
- Cronquist, A., A.H. Holmgren, N.H. Holmgren, J.L. Reveal, and P.K. Holmgren. 1984. Intermountain Flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 4, Subclass Asteridae (except Asteraceae). Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden. 573 pp.
- Giblin, David E., Ben S. Legler, Peter F. Zika, and Richard G. Olmstead (editors). 2018. Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual. Second Edition. University of Washington Press in Association with Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, Washington. 882 pp.
- Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Macior, L.M. 1974. Pollination ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15: 1-59.
- Mayer, D.F., E.R. Miliczky, B.F. Finnigan, and C.A. Johnson. 2000. The bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of southeastern Washington. Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 97: 25-31.
- Miller-Struttmann, N.E. and C. Galen. 2014. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 176:1033-1045.
- Pyke, G.H., D.W. Inouye, and J.D. Thomson. 2012. Local geographic distributions of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: competition and community structure revisited. Environmental Entomology 41(6): 1332-1349.
- Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
- Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.
- Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.