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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Kerry's Paintbrush - Castilleja kerryana

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)
Castilleja kerryana is a recently recognized species that grows in alpine habitat in a portion of the Scapegoat Wilderness in Montana. Populations tend to be small and scattered on slopes and ridges, and apparently absent on broad, fairly flat alpine terrain. Although Castilleja species in general have brittle stems that are easily damaged by livestock, grazing is not known to occur where Kerry's Paintbrush grows. The plant appears to be limited geographically in Montana, and additional surveys are needed to accurately determine its range.
General Description
Perennial. Stems decumbent proximally, ascending-erect distally. Herbage conspicuously villous with a mixture of shorter stipitate-glandular hairs and longer non-glandular hairs. Leaves relatively few, 7-10 cm long, linear to narrowly lanceloate, distally acute-tipped, sometimes becoming 3-5-lobed below the inflorescence. Inflorescence long hairy and shortly stipitate-glandular; bracts mostly reddish but also various shades of salmon, pink, and violet (or infrequently yellowish). Flowers: calyx (23-)25-34(-37) mm long, primary clefts subequal on abaxial and adaxial sides, the lobes distally emarginate or more frequently shallowly cleft into two segments 1-3 mm long; corolla (25-)28-45(-50) mm long, galea (upper lip of corolla) 8-14 mm long, lower lip 4-9 mm long (Egger, Phytoneuron 2013-21: 1-14).

Diagnostic Characteristics
In Montana Castilleja kerryana most closely resembles C. pulchella; however, the latter has mostly included, shorter corollas (only 17-22 mm long), corolla beaks less than twice the length of the lower lip, and a pale yellowish (or less commonly purplish) inflorescence coloration (Egger, Phytoneuron 2013-21:1-14).

Mark Egger named this plant after his daughter, Kerry.

Range Comments
Endemic to Montana on the Scapegoat Plateau in the Straight Creek and South Fork of the Sun River watersheds, each a tributary of the Sun River (Egger 2013, Phytoneuron 2013-21: 1-14).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 42

(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)

Rocky or gravelly limestone substrates of Cambrian origin; slopes and ridges from upper subalpine krummholz or turf communities in upper alpine fell fields (Egger, Phytoneuron 2013-21: 1-14).

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Citation for data on this website:
Kerry's Paintbrush — Castilleja kerryana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from