Castilleja Exserta
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Castilleja Exserta

Castilleja exserta
Castilleja exserta 8031.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Castilleja
Species: C. exserta
Binomial name
Castilleja exserta
(Heller) Chuang & Heckard

Castilleja exserta (formerly Orthocarpus purpurascens) is a species of plant in the genus which includes the Indian paintbrushes. Its common names include purple owl's clover, escobita, and exserted Indian paintbrush.[1]

This species is native to the Southwestern United States in various habitats of California, Arizona, and New Mexico; and to Northwestern Mexico.[2] It is an introduced species in Hawaii.


Foliage and stem, before flowering.

Castilleja exserta is an annual herb about 100-450 millimetres (4-18 in) tall with a hairy stem covered in thready leaves. Like other related Castilleja plants, this is a hemiparasite which derives some of its nutrients directly from the roots of other plants by injecting them with haustoria. This is the reason for its small, reduced leaves.

Although this species is variable in appearance and easily hybridizes with other Castilleja species, it generally bears a brightly colored inflorescence of shaggy pink-purple or lavender flowers. The thin, erect bracts are usually tipped with the same color, giving the inflorescence the appearance of a paintbrush.[3]


Subspecies include:

  • Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta -- pale purple owlclover.[4]
  • Castilleja exserta ssp. latifolia -- wideleaf Indian paintbrush; endemic to coastal California.[5]
  • Castilleja exserta ssp. venusta -- endemic to California: Mojave Desert, southern San Joaquin Valley.[6][7]

Bay checkerspot butterfly host

This is a crucial host plant for the Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis), which is a threatened species that is endemic to the San Francisco Bay region in California.

The seeds were harvested by indigenous peoples of California, for food.[8]


  1. ^ CalFlora database: Castilleja exserta . accessed 3.23.2013
  2. ^ Sullivan, Steven. K. (2018). "Castilleja exserta". Wildflower Search. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Castilleja exserta". in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora. Jepson Herbarium; University of California, Berkeley. 2018. Retrieved .
  4. ^ CalFlora: Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta
  5. ^ CalFlora: Castilleja exserta ssp. latifolia
  6. ^ CalFlora: Castilleja exserta ssp. venusta
  7. ^ USDA: C. e. ssp. venusta
  8. ^ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (NPIN) -- Castilleja exserta (Purple owl's clover) . accessed 3.23.2013

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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