Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta (Purple owl's clover)
Cox, Fran

Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta

Castilleja exserta (A. Heller) T.I. Chuang & Heckard ssp. exserta

Purple Owl's Clover, Owl's Clover, Exserted Indian Paintbrush

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Synonym(s): Orthocarpus exsertus, Orthocarpus purpurascens, Orthocarpus purpurascens var. pallidus, Orthocarpus purpurascens var. palmeri


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I)

In favorable seasons, extensive areas become rose-colored with the flowers of this sometimes parasitic plant. Upright tufts of flowers and bracts cover the top of the 4-18 in. stems. The flowers are rose with yellow or white, while the subtending bracts are bright crimson or purple. The lower portion of the stem is densely covered with ascending, thread-like leaves.


From the Image Gallery

6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AZ , CA , ID , NM
Native Distribution: W. & s. AZ, s. CA & Baja CA
Native Habitat: Open mesas & slopes; 1500 to 4500 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Sandy soils.


Description: Scratch untreated seeds into the soil in early fall. Typically germinate when soil temperatures are near 80 degrees.
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta


Record Modified: 2022-10-28
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back