Castilleja rhexiifolia Rydb.
alpine paintbrush (alpine paintbrush; rhexia-leaved paintbrush)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #21002)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Castilleja rhexiifolia
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a stout, somewhat woody stem-base; stems several, clustered, ascending to erect, 10-40 cm tall, usually unbranched, nearly smooth to soft-hairy or sometimes sticky glandular-hairy, especially in the inflorescence.
Alternate, linear to lanceolate, 3-7 cm long, entire, or the upper sometimes with a few short lobes, nearly smooth to finely soft-hairy or glandular-hairy, the veins prominent.
Inflorescence a prominently bracted terminal spike, at first compact, later elongating in fruit, the bracts usually crimson to purplish, occasionally scarlet or yellowish, egg-shaped to oblong, with 1 to 2 pairs of short lobes near the top, or entire and rounded, soft-hairy and sometimes sticky-hairy; corollas greenish, 20-35 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip beak-like, short-hairy, 8-12 mm long, much shorter than the tube and 4-5 times the length of the thickened, 3-toothed lower lip; calyces hairy, 15-25 mm long, deeply 2-lobed, these primary lobes again divided into 2 lanceolate, usually blunt, 3- to 6-mm long segments; stamens 4.
Capsules, about 12 mm long; seeds many, the seed-coats loose, net-veined.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Castilleja rhexiifolia

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)
1926 6 2615
Slope Gradient (%)
30 0 100

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

171 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(30), BAFA(3), BWBS(2), CMA(2), CWH(1), ESSF(124), ICH(2), IDF(2), IMA(5), MS(9)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to moist meadows and rocky slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; infrequent in S BC north to 53degreeN; E to SW AB and S to NM, UT, NV and OR.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Castilleja lauta A. Nelson
Castilleja leonardii Rydb.
Castilleja oregonensis Gandog.