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Montana Field Guides

Greater Red Indian Paintbrush - Castilleja crista-galli

Native Species

Global Rank: G4?
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 5

External Links






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.
 
General Description
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).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Castilleja 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 PaintbrushCastilleja crista-galli, native:
* 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 PaintbrushCastilleja linariifolia, native:
* 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.

Species Range
Present
 


Range Comments
Regional endemic of northwest WY, southwest MT, and northeast ID.


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 28

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

Recency

 

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



Habitat
Meadows and grasslands in the montane to alpine zones (Lesica et al. 2012).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • 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.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Greater Red Indian Paintbrush"
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Citation for data on this website:
Greater Red Indian Paintbrush — Castilleja crista-galli.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from