Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Snow Indian Paintbrush - Castilleja nivea

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G3
State Rank: S3
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Currently known from a few collections from the Beartooths, Crazy Mtns, Tobacco Root Mtns and the Centennial Range. It is very likely that additional occurrences exist in the known mountain ranges as well as additional mountain ranges. Additionally, the high elevation habitat generally limits the potential for impacts to the species.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Snow Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja nivea) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 03/28/2013
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score2 - Small: Generally 2,000-10,000 individuals.

    CommentPopulation levels are undocumented. This population range is a best estimate.

    Range Extent

    Score2 - Regional or State Endemic or Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <100,000 sq. miles (equivalent to 2/3 the size of Montana or less) or Montana contributes 50% or more of the species’ range or populations OR limited to 2-3 Sub-basins in Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score2 - Low: Generally occurring in 4-10 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).


    Score0-1 - Stable to Minor Declines:

    CommentTrends unknown, though populations are likely stable or experiencing only minor declines.


    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    CommentHabitat is remote.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score1 - Moderate Vulnerability: Specific biological attributes, unusual life history characteristics or limited reproductive potential makes the species susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and slow to recover.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 8 to 10 total points scored out of a possible 19.

General Description
Perennial. Stems erect, simple, 5–12 cm. Herbage puberulent to villous. Leaves linear, 2–4 cm long, the lower entire, upper 3-lobed. Inflorescence villous-tomentose; bracts yellow- to purple-tipped, lanceolate with a pair of linear lobes. Flowers: calyx yellow, linear-lanceolate, 15–20 mm long, subequally cleft into 4 linear-lanceolate lobes, 4–5 mm long; corolla 10–22 mm long, galea 4–6 mm long, lower lip 2–3 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Endemic to southwest MT, adjacent WY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 26

(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)

Alpine tundra and fellfields.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Snow Indian Paintbrush — Castilleja nivea.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from