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Castilleja sessiliflora (Downy painted cup)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Castilleja sessiliflora

Castilleja sessiliflora Pursh

Downy Painted Cup, Downy Paintbrush, Great Plains Paintbrush, Great Plains Indian-paintbrush

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: CASE5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A soft, leafy perennial, usually 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.


From the Image Gallery

57 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Yellow-Green

Bloom Information

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


USA: 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

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


Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

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


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

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