Castilleja exserta (Heller) Chuang & Heckard
Purple owl's clover, Owl's clover, Exserted Indian paintbrush, Escobita
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
An erect, little plant with a rose and yellow or rose and white flower cluster; flowers and flower bracts velvety and rose-purple on divided tips.
Following a wet spring, acre upon acre is carpeted with this beautiful wildflower. The Spanish name, Escobita, means “little broom” and describes the flower cluster. The origin of the English common name is unknown, but it may refer to the swollen, head-like ends of the erect corollas that seem to peer from the bracts as owls peer from the leaves of a tree. Careful study has demonstrated that this plant is not an Orthocarpus, as previously classified (O. purpurascens), but instead belongs to a lineage of Castilleja.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AZ , CA , HI , ID , NM Native Distribution:
Southern California to southern Arizona and northern Mexico. Native Habitat:
Fields, deserts, and open, wooded areas. USDA Native Status: L48(N), HI(I)
BenefitUse Food: Seeds harvested by indigenous Californians.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Last Update: 2009-02-21