Snow Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja nivea Pennell & Ownbey
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort
Genus: Castilleja
Other names: snow paintbrush
Nomenclature: nivea = snow white
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana sensitive plant
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: perennial from a woody base, stems single or clustered, erect or ascending, weak, often S-curved, mostly unbranched, 5-15 cm tall, short-woolly-hairy.

Leaves: alternate, narrowly linear-lanceolate, the lower ones entire, the upper ones broader, 3-parted to about the middle, with linear side lobes, grayish with a covering of short, woolly hairs.

Flowers: several in a relatively narrow and congested cluster, flowers and bracts close together. The bracts are lanceolate, pointed, snowy-short-woolly, with 2 narrow side lobes. Flowers not hidden by the bracts, yellowish. Calyx 15-20 mm long, almost equally cleft into 4 broadly linear segments. Corolla 18-25 mm long, generally protruding 3-5 mm beyond the calyx. Lower lip prominent, strongly pouched, about half the length of the upper lip, both strongly woolly-hairy. July-August.

Fruits: capsules with many net-veined seeds.


Arctic-alpine in the mountains of s.w. and c. MT. Now known from the Big Snowy, Tobacco Root, Crazy and Beartooth ranges. Also in n. WY.
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