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

Castilleja thompsonii Pennell
Thompson's paintbrush (Thompson's paintbrush)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Val George  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26425)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Castilleja thompsonii
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a somewhat woody stem-base; stems several, clustered, ascending to erect, 10-40 cm tall, frequently branched above, bristly-hairy or long-soft-hairy, sometimes purplish.
Alternate, bristly-hairy or long-soft-hairy, sometimes also glandular, the lower leaves linear and entire, the upper ones with 1 to 2 pairs of linear spreading lobes.
Inflorescence a prominently bracted terminal spike, the bracts yellowish, wider than the leaves, deeply 3- to 5-lobed, minutely hairy and also fringed with long hairs; corollas 15-30 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip beak-like, included in the calyx or slightly exserted, much shorter than the tube and about 1.5 times the length of the prominent, 3-lobed lower lip; calyces often purplish, hairy, 12-25 mm long, deeply 2-lobed, these primary lobes again divided into 2 triangular or linear segments 1-3 mm long; stamens 4.
Capsules; seeds many, the seed-coats loose, net-veined.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands, sagebrush shrublands and rocky slopes in the steppe and montane zones; locally frequent in extreme SC BC; S to OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Castilleja thompsonii

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) 355 790 2040
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
2 150 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 5
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: BG(57), ESSF(4), IDF(44), MS(5), PP(39)


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 villicaulis Pennell & Ownbey

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References