[Paintbrushes: The Genus Castilleja East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]
Desert Paintbrush, Desert Indian Paintbrush
Synonym: Castilleja angustifolia
Desert paintbrush as seen from steep slopes above the John Day River along Oregon Highway 19 in central Oregon...........May 28, 2007.
Photo at right
of a multicolored inflorescence of desert paintbrush from Longhollow Pass south
of the Steens Mt., southeastern Oregon........June 24, 1999.
Desert paintbrush is an attractive, colorful perennial wildflower
of the intermountain west. It is an upright plant from 15-45 cm in height, few-branched
with entire leaves to lobed leaves from 2-5 cm long. If lobed, the 1-2 pairs
of lobes are spreading.
The inflorescence is bright red, orange-red, or yellowish. The
lanceolate bracts have 1-3 pairs of rounded, lateral lobes. The calyx ranges
from 20-27 mm long with the cleft on the back more deep at 6-12 mm than in front,
which is 4-10 mm deep. The lateral segments are 2-5 mm long with obtuse to rounded
tips. The corolla is 21-32 mm long the galea measuring 10-18 mm long, which
is roughly one-half the length of the tube. The lower lip is much reduced in
size with incurved teeth.
Desert paintbrush is often found interspersed with sagebrush/juniper from foothills to mountain
Desert paintbrush may be found from Jefferson and Crook Counties in Oregon south to southern
California (east of the Sierra), east to Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and northern Arizona.
The photo above shows a close-up of the calyx and narrow corolla tube above it of desert paintbrush as seen from steep slopes above the John Day River along Oregon Highway 19 in central Oregon.........May 28, 2007.
Close-up detail views of the inflorescence, floral bracts and calyx and corolla tubes of desert paintbrush as seen on slopes above the John Day River in Wheeler County, north-central Oregon...........May 16, 2010.
Close-ups of desert paintbrush associated with both heartleaf buckwheat (Eriogonum compositum var. leianthum) and purple sage (Salvia dorrii) on slopes above the John Day River in Wheeler County, north-central Oregon.........May 16, 2010.
Several different color forms of desert paintbrush as seen at Domingo Pass, Pueblo Mountains of southeastern Oregon............May 31, 2012.
Desert paintbrush in bloom along the Chimney Rock Trail, Lower Crooked Wild and Scenic River (BLM)........May 10, 2018.
Desert paintbrush as observed beginning to bloom along the Steelhead Falls Trail, Deschutes Canyon-Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Area (BLM).......April 25, 2018.
The photo above shows a close-up of the leaves and calyx and
corolla of desert paintbrush as seen at Blue Mt. Pass, on US Highway 95 near
the Oregon/ Nevada border.........June 26, 1999.
The photo above shows the corolla and calyx, bract and upper
stem leaf of desert paintbrush from the eastern base of the Pueblo Mts. of southeastern
Oregon...........June 25, 1999.
The photo above shows desert paintbrush from Blue Mt. Pass on
US Highway 95 near the Oregon / Nevada border........June 26, 1999.
Leaves (pre-bloom) of desert paintbrush as seen in scablands adjacent to the junction of Oregon Highway 31 and Forest Road 2901, BLM lands about a mile east of Picture Rock Pass, Lake County, OR........April 30, 2017.
Desert paintbrush as seen from Picture Rock Pass, near Summer Lake, OR....May 25, 1996.