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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Castilleja sessiliflora Pursh
Downy painted cup, Downy paintbrush, Great Plains paintbrush, Great Plains indian-paintbrush
USDA Symbol: CASE5
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Yellow-Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
AZ , CO , IA , IL , KS , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , 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 USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
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Record Modified: 2011-02-07
Research By: TWC Staff