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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Showy Indian Paintbrush - Castilleja pulchella

Native Species

Global Rank: G3G4
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from numerous collections from many of our major mountain ranges. The high elevation habitat also tends to limit potential threats to the the species. Does not appear to be at risk in Montana.
General Description
Perennial. Stems ascending, simple, 4–15 cm. Herbage glandular-pubescent. Leaves linear to lanceolate, 1–3 cm long, the lower entire, upper 3-lobed. Inflorescence puberulent, viscid-villous; bracts yellow to purplish, narrowly ovate entire or with a pair of lateral lobes. Flowers: calyx 15–21 mm long, primary clefts subequal, ultimate lobes rounded, 1–3 mm long; corolla 18–25 mm long, galea 3–5 mm long, lower lip 1–3 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Known from the alpine tundra of the middle Rocky Mountains in southwestern Montana, western Wyoming, and northeastern Utah (Scott 1995). Also occurs in Idaho (Kartesz and Meacham 1999).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 41

(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)


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