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

Castilleja miniata Douglas ex Hook.
scarlet paintbrush (common red paintbrush)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #76658)

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Distribution of Castilleja miniata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout, scaly, somewhat woody stem-base; stems several and clustered or solitary on rhizomes, 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 bright red or scarlet to orange, occasionally crimson or rarely yellow, lanceolate to oblong-egg-shaped, with 1 to 2 pairs of sharp lobes or teeth near the top or rarely entire, hairy and often sticky; corollas greenish, 20-40 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip beak-like, short-hairy, 9-20 mm long, 3/4 to about as long as the tube and 5 or more times the length of the thickened, 3-toothed lower lip; calyces red to scarlet, hairy, 15-30 mm long, deeply 2-lobed, these primary lobes again divided into 2 linear to lanceolate, sharp-pointed, 3- to 9-mm long segments; stamens 4.
Capsules, 9-12 mm long; seeds many, the seed-coats loose, net-veined.
Appears to hybridize frequently with Castilleja unalaschcensis, and perhaps also C. hispida and C. rhexifolia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to dry meadows, grassy slopes, fens, shrub-carrs, tidal marshes, clearings, roadsides, thickets and open forests from the lowland to subalpine zones; common throughout BC south of 57degreeN, infrequent northward and rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands; N to SE AK, E to W ON and S to ND, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Castilleja miniata

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 1366 2563
Slope Gradient (%) 0 24 230
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 189 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
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: AT(23), BAFA(32), BG(2), BWBS(74), CMA(6), CWH(23), ESSF(567), ICH(81), IDF(171), IMA(7), MH(12), MS(125), PP(9), SBPS(96), SBS(296), SWB(8)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Castilleja chrymactis Pennell
Castilleja hyetophila Pennell

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References