Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Castilleja sessiliflora

Downy painted cup, Downy paintbrush, Great Plains paintbrush, Great Plains indian-paintbrush

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Castilleja sessiliflora (Downy painted cup)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
A soft, leafy perennial, 6-10 in. tall, often several-stemmed. Large but inconspicuous yellow (sometimes pinkish) flowers and green bracts, tinged with pink or red, form dense spikes. A hairy plant with clustered stems and yellow to pinkish bracts and flowers with corollas protruding like long, pale, curved beaks.

In very dry areas with poor soil, this species forms diminutive tufts; where soil and moisture are better, plants are taller and more open.

Image Gallery:

12 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Yellow-Green
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AZ , CO , IL , IA , KS , MN , MO , MT , NE , NM , ND , OK , SD , TX , WI , WY
Canada: AB , SK
Native Distribution: WI & extreme n. IL to Sask. & MT, s.w. to MO, TX & AZ; also n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry prairies; grassy plains

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: As with other paintbrushes, this plant is semiparasitic on other plants and is almost impossible to transplant to the garden, but can be started easily from seed.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2011-02-07