Castilleja lanata – Sierra Woolly Indian Paintbrush
Scientific Name: Castilleja lanata
Common Names: Sierra Woolly Indian Paintbrush, Woolly Paintbrush
Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb, Hemiparasite
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Upland
Flower Color: Red
Flowering Season: Spring, Summer
Height: Up to 3 feet (91 cm) tall, but usually less
Description: The actual flowers are enclosed by woolly-haired, mostly scarlet red, petal-like bracts that are deeply cleft into 3 round-tipped lobes. The beaklike corolla is tubular, 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) long, well-exserted, green on the top side, and red on the bottom side. The flowers are followed by egg-shaped seed capsules. The leaves are green, alternate, and densely covered with matted, flattened, white-woolly hairs on both sides. The lower leaves are entire and linear, while the upper leaves intergrade with the floral bracts and are deeply pinnately cleft and have 2 narrower, divergent side lobes. The stems are densely covered with matted, semi-appressed, white-woolly hairs. The plants are partial root parasites of nearby plants.
While this plant can be found growing in the desert, all of the other red-flowered Castilleja species found here prefer higher elevations. The similar Rincon Mountain Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja austromontana), Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush (C. integra), Lesser Indian Paintbrush (C. minor), Trans-Pecos Indian Paintbrush (C. nervata), and Santa Catalina Indian Paintbrush (C. tenuiflora) do not have deeply cleft floral bracts or deeply cleft upper leaves. Wyoming Indian Paintbrush (C. linariifolia) does have deeply cleft floral bracts, but they have much narrower, point-tipped lobes. Huachuca Mountain Indian Paintbrush (C. patriotica) is only found growing here in the Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains and has deeply divided leaves with often 4 wide-spreading side lobes.
Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Castilleja Mutis ex L. f. – Indian paintbrush
Species: Castilleja lanata A. Gray – Sierra woolly Indian paintbrush
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