[The Paintbrushes of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Cliff Indian Paintbrush, Cliff Paintbrush

Castilleja rupicola

Synonym: Castilleja andrewsii

Cliff Indian Paintbrush, Cliff Paintbrush: Castilleja rupicola (Synonym: Castilleja andrewsii)

Cliff paintbrush on cliff above Elowah Falls........April 22, 2009.

Characteristics:

Cliff paintbrush is a perennial wildflower with several stems arising from a woody base to 20 cm high. The stems are unbranched. The leaves are divided in to 3-5 lobes with the lateral lobes about as narrow as the mid-blade.

The inflorescence is brightly attractive, with bright scarlet or crimson bracts and calyxes. The bracts are 5-parted and much shorter than the flowers. The calyx is 15-25 mm long, deeply and subequally cleft above and below. The side lobes of the calyx are again divided into 2 obtuse to acute segments 1-5 mm long. The corolla ranges form 25-35 mm long with the galea roughly equal in length to slightly longer than the tube. The galea is also many times longer than the thickened, dark green, lower lip.


Habitat:

As its name implies, cliff paintbrush is found on rocky or cinder slopes or vertical cliffs between the elevations of 4000'-7000' (except in the Columbia River Gorge, where it may appear lower.


Range:

Cliff paintbrush is found from southern British Columbia south through the Cascades to central Oregon (eastern Lane County).

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 400'-1400' from near Angel's Rest eastward to McCord Creek.


Cliff Indian Paintbrush, Cliff Paintbrush: Castilleja rupicola (Synonym: Castilleja andrewsii)

An attractive clump of cliff paintbrush clinging to the cliff above the McCord Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge.........May 20, 2009.

Cliff Indian Paintbrush, Cliff Paintbrush: Castilleja rupicola (Synonym: Castilleja andrewsii)

An attractive cluster of cliff paintbrush along the trail to the upper falls at McCord Creek in the western Columbia River Gorge........April 22, 2009.

Cliff Indian Paintbrush, Cliff Paintbrush: Castilleja rupicola (Synonym: Castilleja andrewsii) - Cliff Indian Paintbrush, Cliff Paintbrush: Castilleja rupicola (Synonym: Castilleja andrewsii)

Cliff paintbrushon an overhanging cliff along the trail to the upper falls at McCord Creek in the western Columbia River Gorge........April 22, 2015.

Cliff Paintbrush: Castilleja rupicola

Cliff paintbrush on cliff above Elowah Falls..........April 2, 2005.

Paul Slichter