Mountainside Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja crista-galli Rydb.
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort
Genus: Castilleja
Other names: mountainside paintbrush
Nomenclature: crista-galli = cock's comb
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana sensitive plant
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: perennial, stems clustered, erect or ascending from a woody base, 20-50 cm tall, usually unbranched, softly short-hairy to obscurely long-hairy, rarely hairless.

Leaves: alternate, short-hairy or sometimes hairless, the lower ones linear-lanceolate, entire, the upper ones commonly with a pair of side lobes, these narrower than the mid-blade.

Flowers: several in a relatively short and broad cluster, flowers and bracts close together. The flower cluster conspicuous, bright red or scarlet, rather lax. Bracts softly short- and long-hairy, deeply 3- to 5-parted, about as long as the flowers. Calyx about 25-35 mm long, deeply cleft below, usually less deeply so above, its primary lobes again divided into 2 slender, pointed segments 1-10 mm long. Corolla about 30-40 mm long, its short-hairy upper lip usually about 3/5 the length of the tube and about 5 times as long as the dark green, thickened, lower lip. Late June-August.

Fruits: capsules with many net-veined seeds.


Dry mountainsides and shale slopes, in the understory of conifer forests, open meadows, and on limestone outcrops, in s.w. parts of MT. Also in extreme n.w. WY, westward to Lemhi and Custer counties, ID.
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