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Castilleja exserta

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

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

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: caex14

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

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 Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: AZ , CA , HI , ID , NM
Native Distribution: Southern California to southern Arizona and northern Mexico.
Native Habitat: Fields, deserts, and open, wooded areas.


Use Food: Seeds harvested by indigenous Californians.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Sow seed shallowly in fall to take advantage of fall rains.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2009-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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