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

Castilleja parviflora Bong.
small-flowered paintbrush
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #47061)

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Distribution of Castilleja parviflora
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a somewhat woody stem-base; stems several, clustered, erect or ascending, 10-30 (50) cm tall, unbranched, nearly smooth to thinly long-soft-hairy.
Alternate, lanceolate, 1.5-5 cm long, nearly smooth to sparsely soft-hairy, all except the lowermost cleft into 3 to 5 lateral lobes, the lobes usually much narrower than the mid-blade.
Inflorescence a prominently bracted terminal spike, the bracts rose-pink, magenta, crimson or sometimes whitish, lanceolate to egg-shaped, 3- to 5-lobed, long-soft-hairy, about as long as the flowers; corollas greenish, 12-25 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip beak-like, minutely hairy, 3-7 mm long, about as long as the tube and 3 or more times as long as the thickened, 3-toothed, lower lip; calyces 10-20 mm long, 2-lobed, these primary lobes again divided into 2 segments 3-6 mm long, coloured like the bracts; stamens 4.
Capsules, egg-shaped, smooth, 8-11 mm long; seeds many, the seed-coats loose and net-veined.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, heath, streambanks and rocky slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; frequent throughout BC; N to YT, E to SW AB and S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Castilleja parviflora

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) 32 1566 2262
Slope Gradient (%) 0 29 300
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 185 346
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 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(3), BAFA(30), BWBS(2), CMA(3), ESSF(52), ICH(3), IMA(3), MH(9), SBS(4), SWB(9)


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 alpine tundra & boreal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Castilleja parviflora var. albida (Pennell) Ownbey
Castilleja parviflora var. olympica (G.N. Jones) Ownbey

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References