E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Castilleja unalaschcensis (Cham. & Schltdl.) Malte
Unalaska paintbrush (Unalaska paintbrush; Unalaska paintbrush)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jocie Ingram  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #280)

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Distribution of Castilleja unalaschcensis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout, scaly, somewhat woody stem-base; stems several, clustered, ascending to erect, 20-80 cm tall, simple or sometimes branched above, more or less smooth below, hairy above especially in the inflorescence.
Alternate, lance-linear to lanceolate, 3-10 cm long, entire, long-tapering to sharp-pointed tip, appressed-rough-hairy to nearly smooth.
Inflorescence a prominently bracted terminal spike, the bracts greenish yellow to bright yellow, sometimes tinged with orange, lanceolate to egg- or wedge-shaped, entire and rounded or the upper with 1 to 2 pairs of very short blunt lobes or teeth near the top, hairy; corollas greenish, 15-30 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip beak-like, minutely hairy, with yellowish membranous margins, 6-11 mm long, shorter than the tube and 3-4 times the length of the 3-toothed lower lip; calyces greenish to yellow, hairy, 15-23 mm long, 2-lobed to half their length, these primary lobes again divided into 2 blunt or rounded segments; stamens 4.
Capsules, 8-12 mm long; seeds many, the seed-coats loose, net-veined.
Appears to hybridize frequently with Castilleja miniata.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, thickets and open forests in the lowland, montane and subalpine zones; common in NW BC north of 53degreeN, including the Queen Charlotte Islands; N to AK and YT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Castilleja unalaschcensis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 1145 2060
Slope Gradient (%) 0 30 150
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 180 359
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(15), BWBS(9), CWH(11), ESSF(14), SBS(2), SWB(16)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References